Padmavati the Harlot & Other Stories – Kamala Das


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One of the pioneers of feminist writing in India, Kamala Das is known for her provocative writing on female sexuality and desire. Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories includes some of her very best fiction. In ‘A Little Kitten’, a newly married woman finds her life turning dull and insipid as the tedium of marriage begins to settle in. An old woman believes she is a princess and is delighted to be courted by three suitors in ‘The Princess of Avanti’. A man realizes, too late, that he is in love with the woman he is breaking up with in ‘The Sea Lounge’. In these and other stories, Kamala Das is bold and unflinching in her exploration of themes such as violence, desire, sex, marriage, family, communalism, and death.

About the Author

KAMALA DAS (1934–2009) was a poet, short-story writer, and novelist who wrote in both Malayalam and English. Her autobiography, My Story, created much controversy for its forthright depiction of sex and the brutality of men in Indian society but it served to propel her to instant stardom in Indian literary and feminist circles. She won several literary awards and was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1984.