The Curse - Salma
AUTHOR : Salma TRANSLATED BY: N Kalyan Raman
QUICK TAKE: The Curse is one of the strongest works of feminist fiction this year, which highlights the problems of patriarchy, the male gaze, sexual assault, the
subjugation of women.
In The Curse, acclaimed author and poet Salma blasts through the artifice of genre and language to reveal the messy, violent, vulnerable and sometimes beautiful realities of being a woman in deeply patriarchal societies. Loosely rooted in the rural Muslim communities of Tamil Nadu, these stories shine a light on the complex dramas governing the daily lives of most women moving through the world.
In the title story, a young spinster is caught between her desire for marriage and a dark family history that haunts her like a curse. In ‘Toilets’, a woman recounts in stunning, visceral detail how access to the most basic human space has been regulated by trauma, shame and the male gaze. In ‘The Orbit of Confusion’, a daughter writes a heartbreaking letter, struggling to come to terms with her
anger and love for the woman who raised her.
In these and five other emotionally charged stories that are at times humorous even spooky, Salma crafts exquisite and contradictory inner worlds like Alice Munro with the playfulness and spirit of Ismat Chughtai—in a voice that is entirely her own. Available together for the first time in English—in a lively, nimble translation by Kalyan Raman—these stories will grab you by the throat and leave you fundamentally changed.
‘Salma is a master storyteller who transforms ordinary lives into sagas of
identity, gender and nationalism'
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