VALLI: A Novel

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SKU: 9789356290150

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Description

  • Author : Sheela Tomy
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper Perennial
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 420 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 9789356290150

High in the Western Ghats in northern Kerala is a land of mist and mystery, of forests and folklore, rich with the culture of its indigenous people, the Adivasis. Its old name was Bayalnad – land of the paddy fields – but it would come to be known as Wayanad.

Its resources attracted outsiders – traders, colonialists, migrants from the lowlands, and eventually, the timber and tourist industries. Exploitation of the forest led to the exploitation and enslavement of its people, and as the forest dwindled, so did the Adivasis’ culture, their way of life, even their language. But these were not changes quietly and willingly accepted; Wayanad became a key centre of direct action and uprising, and a stronghold for the Naxalite movement.

Spanning the time between the 1970s and the present, Valli is a tale of four generations who made this land their home. It is told through a diary that Susan – the daughter of two teachers, Thommichan and Sara, who eloped to Wayanad so that they could live together – leaves for her own daughter, Tessa.

And in telling their story, Valli tells us stories of the land and its people, of interdependence and abuse, repression and resistance, despair and contentment – stories as vast and magical as the forest itself once was.

About the Author

Sheela Tomy is a novelist, short story writer and scriptwriter. Valli is her debut novel, for which she was awarded the Cherukad Award for Malayalam Literature in 2020. She is also the author of a short story collection, Melquíadesnte Pralayapusthakam (Melquíades’s Book of Floods), published in 2012. Sheela has won several awards for her short stories, including the Abu Dhabi Arangu Award (2007), the Puzha.com Short Story Award (2008), the Doha Sanskriti Award (2012), the Doha Samanwayam Award (2012) and the Kamala Surayya ‘Neermathalam’ Award UAE (2014). Born in Mananthavadi in Wayanad district, Sheela currently resides in Doha, Qatar. Her second novel, Aa Nadiyodu Peru Chodikkaruthu (Do Not Ask the River Her Name), is set to be published later this year.

Jayasree Kalathil shared the JCB Prize for Literature in 2020 with S. Hareesh for her translation of his novel, Moustache. She received the Crossword Book Award for Indian Language Translation in 2019 for her translation of N. Prabhakaran’s Diary of a Malayali Madman, which was also longlisted for the Mathrubhumi Book of the Year Award. She is the author of The Sackclothman, a children’s novel that has been translated into Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. Her other translations include Theeyoor Chronicles by N. Prabhakaran and Adam by S. Hareesh.

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