We're delighted to announce the sale of the English translation of the Malayalam novel Sugandhi alias Andal Devanayaki  by TD Ramakrishnan to HarperCollins India.

 

Sugandhi alias Andal Devanayaki was published in 2014. It has received wide critical acclaim and the fourth edition is now in print. The Hindu reports that it is one of the most sought after books in Malayalam that has been published recently. It has great relevance in today’s world as it deals with the intricacies of politics and the devastations caused by war. It has been widely discussed in academic circles.

The novel has as its background the civil war in Sri Lanka and its aftermath. It discusses in depth the dangers posed by fascism especially when repressive regimes don the mask of progress and development. The common man is taken in by the lure of better living conditions but it might be too late when they realize that their basic rights have been taken away from them. Ramakrishnan mingles legends with history in the narrative. A female oriented novel, it portrays strong empowered women who battle against fascist rulers to establish their own identities. A fast moving tale it captures the readers from the beginning itself. The narrative moves back and forth in time projecting the idea that repressive regimes have always existed and that individuals with deep conviction and strong ideals have  time and again taken it upon themselves to fight fascism. This novel will be able to capture the attention of heterogeneous audiences as it deals with themes that are close to contemporary life. 

Sri T. D.Ramakrishnan, who has three Malayalam novels to his credit, works in the Southern Railway. His novels are Alpha, Francis Itty Cora and Sugandhi alias Andal Devanayaki. All three novels are best- sellers and prominently figure on the top ten lists of books. While Alpha presents a dystopic vision of society, Francis Itty Cora narrates the story of a navigator Cora  who lived in Kerala.

The Hindu had this to say about the novel:

The magic and mythic transformations of characters in the novel add a touch of magical realism in addition to a richly evocative historical intertextuality. A finely crafted work, it has its flawed moments and yet connects contemporary socio-political histories with mythical landscapes and dystopias of the mind. It resonates with an Orwellian intensity, throbbing and poignant in its apocalyptic closure which probably parodies any sense of an ending and in the process takes the Malayalam novel to new heights and fresh possibilities.