Short stories from a contemporary master, now for the first time in English translation
Book Title: BABY DOLL-Short Stories by Gracy
Publisher: HarperCollins – Harper Perennial imprint
Translation: Translated from the Malayalam by award-winning translator Fathima E.V.
Original work in Malayalam.
About the book
Brilliantly rendered by award-winning translator Fathima E.V., Baby Doll brings a comprehensive selection of Gracy’s work to English readers for the very first time.
When they were first published, Gracy’s stories shocked readers with their sexual candour and frank celebration of female desire. She is now widely recognized as one of the most important contemporary writers in Malayalam.
Her short stories, which vary from half a page to novella-length, draw the reader into the world of modern men and women caught in quagmires of desire, lust, jealousy and vengeance – emotions that they often carry even into the afterlife. In these pages, we will find: the bitter defiance of a daughter going to her mother’s funeral in her most alluring sari; a contemporary retelling of the story of Draupadi; the sinister coming-of-age tale of a young girl.
Gracy is a well-known contemporary Malayalam author who minces no words to question gender bias. Her awards include the Lalithambika Antharjanam Award, the Thoppil Ravi Award the Katha Prize for the Best Malayalam Short Story and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (2000).
Gracy occupies a unique position among Malayali women writers who challenged the seemingly inviolable male bastions in the Malayalam literary field. Though she was initially associated with the ‘Pennezhuthu’ movement of the 1990s, Gracy has always preferred to walk alone, rattling conservative readers with her unapologetic assertion of female sexuality and clinical exposure of the slippery slopes of kinship and marital bonds.
The author speaks: “Often, my stories tend to be woman-centric, as they can’t help but be fierce responses to male intrusions, and dominance over female bodies. These stories attempt to evoke a sense of woman’s identity, even as they try to meet the challenge of exploring diverse themes and concerns.’’
Translator Fathima E.V. says: “Layered with biblical and mythical resonances, her stories carry a distinctly edgy, sardonic humour and a style which varies from the acerbic to minimalistic, to lyrical. Gracy’s refusal to romanticise the harsh realities of life is often a calculated affront against the patriarchal values that inform Kerala society, the faultiness of which her writing continues to expose.”
Releasing February 21, 2021.