Subversive Whispers Is A Bold And Formidable Anthology Of Stories On Gender, Relationships And Anti-Patriarchal Society
Originally written by Manasi, one of the finest voices of feminist literature in Malayalam, and translated by J Devika, Subversive Whispers questions and debates the political and societal opinions about gender, love, family and relationships.
A collection of some of her best work, Manasi continues to defy patriarchy, question Brahminical hegemony and push narratives that subtly yet fervently challenge the status quo. The book introduces readers to the irreverent ‘Sheelavathi’, which explores the Madonna-Whore complex in a uniquely local context, ‘Devi Mahathmyam’, which sheds light on the price that women pay for being goddesses in mere name and stories such as ‘Spelling Mistakes’, ‘Square Shapes’ and ‘The Walls’, all of which explore romantic love with a piercing realism.
In stark and urgent murmurs that build up a fever pitch, these stories channel women’s voices that open up their inner worlds, struggling to capture the minutiae of their suffering. It is this whisper-like quality of Manasi’s storytelling that J Devika deftly conveys in translation, bringing the author’s prose to the English reader in an incendiary collection that is sure to cast light on the darkened chambers of patriarchy and the hidden recesses of women’s minds.
With her unparalleled feminist writing and powerful voice, Manasi, a stalwart of Malayalam literature, has mastered the art of telling radical short stories.
About the translator
J DEVIKA is a feminist historian, social researcher and translator, currently with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She translates literary writing from Malayalam to English and social science writing from English to Malayalam. She has translated the literary writings of K.R. Meera, Sarah Joseph, Unni R., Ambikasuthan Mangad and Lalithambika Antharjanam, among others.
About the author
Manasi has been one of Malayalam’s finest anti-patriarchal voices, reaching back to the 1960s. Her short stories have won her a very wide readership and her short story collections have won several literary prizes, including the prestigious Kerala Sahitya Akademi award. She regularly contributes short stories, articles and poems to mainstream periodicals as well as critically acclaimed literary journals in Malayalam. The feature film Punaradhivasam, based on one of her short stories, won the state award for best story. Her stories have been translated into several languages such as Marathi, Tamil, Kannada, English and Hindi. She has also translated plays written by Shanta Gokhale and Ramu Ramanathan. She lives in Mumbai and works as a freelance copywriter for ad agencies. Manasi is actively involved with Asha for Education, a non-profit organization which promotes the education of underprivileged children.