Beasts of Burden

Author:

V. Annamalai

Publisher:

NIYOGI BOOKS PVT LTD

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Availability: Available

Publisher

NIYOGI BOOKS PVT LTD

Publication Year 2019
ISBN-13

9789386906625

ISBN-10 9386906627
Binding

Hard Cover

Edition FIRST
Number of Pages 335 Pages
Language (English)
Dimensions (Cms) 22x14x2
Weight (grms) 520

The first novel of one of the best writers today, Koveru Kazhuthaigal is located in the early 1970s when ritual status and payment in kind were giving way to cash wages. It is a tapestry of despair, courage and a journey both outward and inward and a story of decline and change in a village seen through the eyes of a washerwoman (vannaatti) Arokkyam, who serves a dalit community of agricultural labourers. The ‘mules’ of the title refers ironically to the vannaan and vannaatti themselves who traditionally carried their washing on donkeys. Although they play an important role in all Hindu rites of passage, it is striking that Arokkyam and Savuri are Catholics. Most importantly, they defer to the authority of the priest at the Church of Saint Antony and seek his blessing on family and community occasions. The novel gives us an extraordinarily detailed picture of a lifestyle that has now passed—reclaimed and told with pride. 


The worst oppression of the caste system, Imayam suggests, is that people are dependent upon it for their living.

V. Annamalai

Imayam (pen name of V. Annamalai) is a prominent and well-known Indian novelist writing in Tamil. He wrote five novels, five short story collections and a novella. Imayam had his college education at Periyar E.V.R. College, Tiruchirappalli, where S. Albert, a Professor from Trichy, ‘opened the door to the world’ for him. His first novel Koveru Kazhuthaigal (Beasts of Burden) created heated debates on issues like the role of a Dalit writer in the context of oppression of the Dalit community. The book won Imayam many awards, including Agni Akshara Award, Tamil Nadu Progressive Writers Forum Award (1994) and Amudhan Adigal Ilakkiya Award for Literature (1998).