Through a seeming act of providence, an old couple receives a day-old female goat kid as a gift from the cosmos. Thus begins the story of Poonachi, the little orphan goat.
As you follow her story from forest to habitation, independence to motherhood, you recognise in its significant moments the depth and magnitude of your own fears and longings, fuelled by the instinct for survival that animates all life. Masterly and nuanced, Perumal Murugan’s tale forces us reflect on our own responses to hierarchy and ownership, selflessness and appetite, love and desire, living and dying. Poonachi is the story of a goat who carries the burden of being different all her life, of a she-goat who survives against the odds. It is equally an expression of solidarity with the animal world and the female condition. The tale is also a commentary on our times, on the choices we make as a society and a nation, and the increasing vulnerability of individuals, particularly writers and artists, who resist when they are pressed to submit.
About the Author
Perumal Murugan is the author of six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry in Tamil. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One Part Woman. He was a professor of Tamil at the Government Arts College in Namakkal before taking to writing full-time.
N. Kalyan Raman is a Chennai-based translator of contemporary Tamil fiction and poetry into English. He has published ten volumes of Tamil fiction in translation, working with a range of authorial voices and has also translated and published over 200 poems by leading contemporary Tamil poets in journals and anthologies from India and abroad. He also regularly contributes essays, reviews and articles on literature, culture and public policy. In February 2017, he received the prestigious Pudumaipithan award, given by Vilakku, for his contribution to Tamil literature through his translations.