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K. Saraswathi Amma

K. Saraswathi Amma

K. Saraswathi Amma is one of the earlier women writers in Malayalam. Her writings are noted for its feminist ideology and use of black humor. She was born in 1919 in Thiruvananthapuram. She can be considered as a pioneer figure of feminist literature in Malayalam. Her writings were extremely intense that it is difficult to find such a refined writer even these days. Her first collection of short stories was published in 1938. She talks about feminism in a time were the idea was still novel to the people. So rather than being called as a feminist, she was known to be a man-hater/anti-male. Her writings were widely misinterpreted and were read less. There were hardly any attempts to unfold the black humor in her literature. Her only collection of essays which was published in 1958 was interestingly titled Purushanmarillatha Lokam (A World without Men).

Most of the established feminist Malayalam writers emerged in the seventies and later. Among them, Saraswathi Amma stood as a lone figure that made a preliminary platform upon which the modern feminism is partially built. No thorough readings of her writings were made during her time. More feminist readings of her literature are being done recently. In a short lived literary career, Saraswathi Amma has also published one novel titled ‘Premabhajanam’, a play, ‘Devaduthi’ and 12 short story collections before she stopped writing at the age of 39. She got no recognition from the authorities or the literary world, as those are always under the authority of male. She died in 1975 at the age of 56.

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