Rizio Yohannan Raj is a bilingual writer, presently Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the newly founded Central University of Kerala in Kasaragod. Peripatetic, she has earlier held positions in the editorial departments of Navneet in Mumbai and Katha in New Delhi.

She writes poetry as well as fiction, and has also translated, from Malayalam to English and vice versa. Her novel Avinashom: The tale of the timeless will soon appear from Harper Collins. Her translations from other languages to Malayalam include two novels by the Swedish writer Torgny Lindgren, the Maithili poetry of Udaya Narayana Singh, and Dalit poetry from various Indian languages.

Eunuch, her debut collection of poetry has just been published by Authorspress, New Delhi (recall our recent post on Jayanta Mahapatra's The Lie of Dawns). A second poetry collection Naked by the Sabarmati should be out soon.

The castaway eunuch returns to us from the grimy margins of life. Standing in the middle ground, armed with the secret knowledge of truth and treachery that has always evaded our divided camps, s/he now demands entry into our histories. Defying the rigid frames of our morality and language, the eunuch starkly reminds us of the futility of our proud tools, even as s/he reclaims connections with many a potent figure from myth and history alike: Ardhanaree-swara, Teiresias, Sikhandi, Brihannala, Bagoas the Persian, Narses the Roman, San Boa the Chinese, the Chief Black Eunuch of the Ottoman court. The idea of ‘crossing the border,’ fundamental to the eunuch’s identity, inspires the poems in this collection to emerge irreverent, transcendental, different...

Eunuch, in paperback, Rs 95.00 , pp 74. ISBN: 9788172735357. In Poetry, naturally.