M.Mukundan is the story-teller par excellence in contemporary writing in Malayalam. His texts seldom resist reading like those of Anand or O.V. Vijayan often do. He takes the reader into confidence and easily carries him/her along the narrative. Still he does not repeat himself like many popular authors do: he keeps experimenting both with themes and structures, likes to play with space and time and mix reality and fantasy in different measures. His recent works show post-modernist tendencies, being self-reflexive and meta-fictional. Kesavan’s Lamentations, one of the most discussed novels of the decade in Malayalam, is a good sample of his later fiction that is often a bricolage, a frequency of quotations from different periods and discourses that dissolve the distinctions between biography, fiction and descriptive prose. This is a novel about a novel, both of which break their boundaries and collapse into each other towards the end.
December 2006, volume 30, No 12