Author : N Prabhakaran
Translator : Jayashree Kalathil
Genre : Literary and Contemporary Fiction
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
N. Prabhakaran is a major contemporary writer from Kerala and has been awarded the state Sahitya Akademi Award twice. Jayasree Kalathil is a writer and translator based in London. Prabhakaran's Diary of a Malayali Madman won the Crossword Book Award for Fiction in Translation in 2019, and Jayasree's translation of S. Hareesh's Moustache won the JCB Prize for Literature in 2020.
ABOUT THE BOOK
This book is an anthology of five short stories which are eccentric ,short and crisp. All the stories are different from one another but all of them are dealing with the most pertinent issues in todays world and that is "Mental Health". Diary of Malyali Madman is a story about madness, politics, love and obsession. Every character in the story has a different perspective about their surroundings. Set in North Kerala, the stories are mostly in the form of diary entries. All five Protagonist Georgekutty, Mohanan, Sreekumar and Aagney are anxious to tell their stories to the outside world. The Protagonist in each story deals with collision of realities and deception of life.
Out of five stories my favorite is "Pigman", which author has adapted into a feature film as well. It is a story about young man who works as a junior accountant on a farm that rears Berkshire pigs for slaughter. It shows how he is slowly driven to hallucinating about pigmen. Will not reveal too much about the stories but the characters in each story is so unpredictable that, in spite of being in complete denial of social norms they always find themselves trapped in an sealed environment because of their unstable mind. I won't be wrong if I say that each character in the story are mentally unwell and incapable to adapt themselves into this society.
This book is translated by Jayashree Kalathil, whose own intense research deals with mental health. This book along with 5 unique stories also contains insights, interviews and more with the author.
MY TAKE ON THE BOOK
What I found missing here is, there is no closure. Every story was open ended and , as a reader we can think about anything according to our own understanding which might not matches what writer really wants to convey. This may dilute the writer's vision. If you are looking for a story which are unusual and ends with unexpected twist and short read than go for it.
Kindle Edition: INR 223.30
Paperback : INR 244
Pages : 260
Publisher :Harper Perennial India
Available on Amazon
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