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Housewife by day, daring writer at night, seated on the bare floor, this thinker of gender engaged with the thriving social and community reform movements of early-mid twentieth century Malayali society. The first prominent voice who spoke on behalf of women, the first startling insights that represented the struggle against the repression of the women of the Namboodiri Brahmin community, Lalithambika Antharjanam’s stories cover half a century of her engagement with caste, gender, and nationalist uprisings. In writing some of the founding texts of feminism in Kerala, she made powerful feminist interventions into literary realism in Kerala.
Relatively unknown outside Kerala and yet to receive the critical attention that is her due, this book seeks to resurrect Lalithambika as a feminist public intellectual.
Lalithambika Antharjanam (1909–1987) is widely recognized as one of the first women to win acclaim in the early twentieth century as a writer in modern Malayalam literature. An active participant in the social reform movements of Kerala in the early 1920s, she won the Kerala SahityaAkademi Award for Agnisakshi in 1979.
J. Devika is associate professor at the Centre for Development Studies, Trivandrum, Kerala, India.
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