Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"A Mansion with Many Rooms" - A Short Story by Kutti Revathi (2015, translated from Tamil by the Author)

You can read this story on Words Without Borders, 2015

Information on Women in Translation Month, August, 2017

The Reading Life Guide to Getting Started in The Indian Short Story

Short stories I have read so far for Women In Translation Month - August, 2017

  1. "Happy New Year" by Ajaat Cour - Translated from Punjabi
  2. "The Floating Forest" by Natsuo Kirino- Translated from Japanese
  3. " A Home Near the Sea" by Kamala Das - Translated from Malayalam
  4. "Maria" by Dacia Maraini- Translated from Italian
  5. "Zletka" by Maja Hrgovic - Translated from Croatian
  6. "Arshingar" by Jharna Raham - Translated from Bengali
  7. "Tsipke" by Salomea Perl - Translated from Yiddish
  8. "Mother" by Urmilaw Pawar - Translated from Marathi
  9. "My Creator, My Creation" by Tiina Raevaara - Translated from Finnish
  10. "Cast Offs" by Wajida Tabassum - Translated from Urdu
  11. It's All Up to You" by Slywia Chutnik - Translated from Polish
  12. "Covert Joy" by Clarice Lispector- Translated from Portuguese 
  13. "The Daughter, The Wife, and the Mother" by Arupa Kilita - Translated from Assam
  14. "Red Glow of the New Moon" by Kundanika Kapadia - translated from Gujarati
  15. "Breaking Point" by Usha Mahajan- translated from Hindu
  16. "The Gentleman Thief" by Goli Taraghi - translated from Persian
  17. "Spider Web" by Mariana Enriguez- translated from Spanish
  18. "My New Home" by Glaydah Namukasa - translated from Swahil
  19. "A Mansion with Many Rooms" by Kutti Ravathi - translated from Tamil
  20. "The Far Shore" by Yoko Tawada - translated from Japanese
  21. "Magnet" by Amy Yamaha - translated from Japanese
  22. "The Pomegranate Lady and her Sons" by Goli Taraghi - translated from Persian 
  23. "A Mansion with Many Rooms" by Kutti Revathi - translated from Tamil

Today's Story, "A Mansion with Many Rooms" by Kutti Revathi was originally written in Tamil.  It is the ninth story originally written in one of the twenty three official languages of India upon which I have posted.  The Tamil language is spoken by about 76 million people. 25 percent of those on Sri Lanka speak Tamil as do 11 percent of those from Mauritius, and five percent of those in India, Malaysia and Singapore.  The Tamil people are one of the oldest linguistic groups in the world.  

"A Mansion with Many Rooms" focuses on a recently widowed man, sixty five, when we first meet him his wife had just died a few days ago.   He has a grown daughter living on her own.  His wife loved to cook and has a paid reservation at a cooking class by a famous chef.  The lesson is prepaid so his daughter, fearing he will withdraw totally into himself, insists he go.   In his preparations for the class, he is asked to bring with him glazed shiitakes mushrooms, he finds a notebook his wife kept with personal observations about many topics, including him, but centering on cooking.

After the class,  he becomes very into cooking, fixing all the many meals his wife described in her notes. In a way it saves him.  Seven years go by, his daughter marries, has a son, his only grandchild, and divorces.  He become a very kind and loving grandfather.

This is a very moving story about being left behind, about marriage and cooking.  There are marvelous descriptions of the food!  

Kutti Revathi

Image of Kutti Revathi
Kutti Revathi is widely recognized as possessing a vital new idiom, both within the poetics and politics of the Tamil literary tradition and in that borderless space we now think of as “world poetry.” Kutti Revathi is professionally a Siddha doctor. She has been speaking out for the rights of the downtrodden, whoever they be, women or Dalits. Agnostic in her beliefs, she trusts human values and moons over credibility of poetic virtues. One of her major contributions to Tamil literature is Panikudam, a Tamil literary quarterly for women's writing, of which she is the editor. Her works include eight poetry collections, including the controversial Mulaigal; she also has written short stories, and has made six documentaries and written lyrics for the composer AR Rahman. She edited Wild Girls, Wicked Words, a collection of poems by four Tamil women poets, translated by Lakshmi Holmström

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