A Telangana childhood

Devulapalli Krishnamurthi's autobiography, Life in Anantharam, is translated from Telugu where it was widely read and appreciated. It is an important work which offers an unvarnished account of life in a Telangana village, specifically Anantharam near Suryapet and between Penpadu and Dosapadu villages. The period he covers is the 1940's - an important period for Telangana when the Telangana peasant movement changed the face of this land. 

Banyan Tree, publishers based in Indore, bring out this important new book that has been translated into English by Gita Ramaswamy. 

The author captures the nuances of rural life with the eyes of a child, recreating the everyday idiom of this region through proverbs and songs, so many of them strung through the text, as in a traditional katha with the storyteller moving smoothly between prose and verse. There is a strong oral quality to the book, as if he were speaking along and in intimated dialogue. with the reader. 

The book ranges freely and widely over objects, people (groups and individuals), festivals and entertainment, poverty and politics, education. songs, stray encounters and it is one person's sensibility (though an unobtrusive one) and his extraordinarily vivid memory that holds it all together. Lovers of autobiographies, scholars of rural lives and local histories and general readres will find this fascinating reading. 

The world that Krishnamurthy entered was one of hard labour, poverty, dirt, disease, and frequently, early death. Yet people's closeness with nature gave them great joy. Gossip, intrigue, and conflict are central to several of the stories in the book. Viewed in totality, the book is a richly textured account of the life of a village child and his community, caught up in the inexorable march of historical events. 

In paperback, 157 pages. Rs 250, ISBN: 9789282400202


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