A Woman of Small Things
M. Mukundan
ASREEKARAM by V.K. Madhavankutty DC Books, Delhi, 2004, 104 pp., 50.00
March 2004, volume 28, No 3

V.K. Madhavankutty’s expertise in the art of remembering is well-known. His new work in Malayalam, Asreekaram (Accursed) which is under translation into English, is no different, what with a bouquet of reminiscences and recollections of life in a village in Kerala unfolding into a poignant story: the saga of Kalyanikutty. While no thread of a story as such runs in Village Before Time (his earlier novel)—which is rather a dexterously blended mosaic of disjointed episodes and denouements—Accursed has a muscular storyline about it, rendering it organically strong. Accursed is all about the life and death of Kalyanikutty, narrated with care for economy of words—which is this author’s hallmark—which explains the thinness of the book, the fact that it talks about the whole life of a forsaken woman notwithstanding.

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