The Goddess in the Living Room
Translated by Palaniappan Arumugum, Sulosana Karthigasu, Kavitha Karumbayeeram, Yamuna Murthi Raju, Ravi Shanker and Kokilavani Silvarathi
Translated from Tamil to English, the book begins with the story of Alyssa, who is left with her grandparents on Pulau Ubin as a child and her experience with devastating loss as an adult. Among other stories: A grandmother whose final wish is to carry the kavadi, a wife who wonders if her role is simply to cook for her family according to their needs and desires and a filial daughter caring for her terminally ill mother.
The Goddess in the Living Room is a collection of short stories where the voices of Tamil women in Singapore are given a powerful outlet by Latha.
“This collection is an excellent opportunity for English- speaking audiences to access the fiction of Tamil Murasu's Sunday editor K. Kanagalatha or Latha. One of the best- known women writers in Tamil, her focus is usually feminist, giving a voice to Singaporean women's stories of oppression and neglect.”
—Akshita Nanda, The Sunday Times
“She chronicles the ordinary absurdities of Singapore life while addressing the bigger questions by creating her worlds with a wonderful economy, the perfectly weighted use of details and voice.”
—National Book Development Council of Singapore
“These stories are so beautifully weaved at the loom of the author’s mind that they form an amalgamation which is thought-provoking and simultaneously succeeds in tugging at heartstrings...This is a book that is raw and unmasked.”
“One does not have to be an Indian, or even a woman, to empathise with the characters in Latha’s vivid collection of stories that deal with a very prevalent issue in today’s society: patriarchy. Through evoking familiar settings and characters, Latha deftly portrays the struggles of Indian women across all generations, occupations and lifestyles. These stories provide a thought-provoking insight into the inner workings of Singapore’s Indian community that readers are sure to draw parallels from.”
—Hillary Kang, npTribune
About the Author
Latha (K. Kanagalatha) is the author of two collections of poetry in Tamil: Theeveli (Firespace) (2003), and Paampuk Kaattil Oru Thaazhai (A Screwpin in Snakeforest) (2004). Her 2007 short story collection Nan Kolai Seyium Penkkal (The Women I Murder) won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2008. Her poems and short stories have been published in Words, Home and Nation, a multilingual anthology published by The Centre for the Arts, National University of Singapore (1995); Rhythms: A Singaporean Millennial Anthology of Poetry, published by the National Arts Council (2000); Fifty on 50 and Tumasik, published by the National Arts Council (2009); and various Tamil literary journals in India, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and France. Her works have been translated into English, French and German. Latha is currently the Sunday editor of Tamil Murasu, Singapore’s Tamil daily newspaper.
Size: 130 x 200mm
Published: April 2014