Antharjanam: Memoirs of a Namboodiri Woman

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OUP India, Apr 5, 2012 - Literary Criticism - 204 pages
Ending the silence of centuries comes this startling murmur: the first full-length account of a Namboodiri woman's life describing a world long gone. Told without a trace of self-pity, Devaki Nilayamgode's work is a remarkable achievement in the domain of personal and social history. The memoirs unfold a variety of experiences that range from changing agricultural practices and esoteric medical ones like indigenous systems of anti-snake-venom treatment to the gradual erosion of the community's wealth and unquestioned social power. With time, the winds of change brought radical ideas into these dim interiors. While J. Devika's detailed Introduction contextualizes the great changes the author describes, the many evocative illustrations by one of Kerala's most famous artists transport us into the Namboodiri woman's world.

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About the author (2012)

Devaki Nilayamgode was raised in an orthodox Namboodiri home. Not formally educated, her language skills were shaped by the training that an antharjanam traditionally received at home.

Indira Menon retired as Reader in English, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi.

Radhika P. Menon is Associate Professor, Department of English, Fatima Mata National College, Kollam.

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