Wild Girls Wicked Words: Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi by Lakshmi Holmstrom, is just published from Sangam House.
In 2003, a group of men and women, setting themselves up as guardians of Tamil culture, objected publicly to the language of a new generation of women poets – particularly in the work of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani – charging the women with obscenity and immodesty.
A decade later, a deep divide still persists in the way readers and critics perceive women poets. Tamil women poets have been categorized into ‘ Bad Girls’ who write ‘body poetry’ and ‘Good Girls’ who refrain from doing so. The traditional values prescribed for the ‘Good’ Tamil woman were fearfulness, propriety and modesty.
Our poets have chosen, instead, the opposite virtues – of fearlessness, outspokenness and a ceaseless questioning of prescribed rules. This bilingual anthology celebrates the poetry of Malathi Maithri, Salma, Kutti Revathi and Sukirtharani, and showcases, through an English translation by Lakshmi Holmstrom, a selection of their work.
Rs. 295, in paperback, 230 pages, ISBN: 9780573121623