Cat in the Agraharam and Other Stories

Cat in the Agraharam and Other Stories

by Dilip Kumar

Imprint: Northwestern University Press

184 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in

  • Paperback
  • 9780810141551
  • Published: March 2020


This collection of stories from celebrated author Dilip Kumar offers a distinct perspective on everyday life in the South Indian cities of Coimbatore and Chennai. The stories set in the Sowcarpet neighborhood of Chennai give readers a glimpse into the orthodox world of Gujarati Vaishnavas, transplants from the northwestern region of Kutch, who find themselves living usually at odds—and occasionally in harmony—with the Tamil-speaking community.
The volume is introduced by its award-winning translator, Martha Ann Selby, who worked closely with the author. The universal appeal of these stories is rooted in their utterly truthful local specificity as they explore complex themes of abduction and restoration, humiliation and despair, and related issues of identity and wholeness. Known by Tamil readers for his description and detail, Dilip Kumar also writes with humor and a deep compassion for his characters, highlighting their strengths in the face of degradation and strife. His perspective and insight build on his own status as a northerner in this southern setting for whom Tamil is a second language—much like his characters.


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