Salma_Women-Dreaming
2022 Longlist

Women Dreaming

Translated from Tamil
artwork-image

ABOUT
THE BOOK

Mehar dreams of freedom and a life with her children. Asiya dreams of her daughter’s happiness. Sajida dreams of becoming a doctor. Subaida dreams of the day when her family will become free of woes. Parveen dreams of a little independence, a little space for herself in the world. Mothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, neighbours…

In this tiny Muslim village in Tamil Nadu, the lives of these women are sustained by the faith they have in themselves, in each other, and the everyday compromises they make. Salma’s storytelling – crystalline in its simplicity, patient in its unravelling – enters this interior world of women, held together by love, demarcated by religion, comforted by the courage in dreaming of better futures.

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Salma

Salma’s works of poetry and fiction speak about taboo areas of the traditional Tamil women’s experience. She has faced great adversity – including obscenity charges and violent threats for her erotic poetry, and living locked away by her family – to also become a major political leader and campaigner for women’s rights. The Hour Past Midnight was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Women Dreaming is her second novel. Salma lives in the small town of Thuvarankurichi, India.

Salma’s works of poetry and fiction speak about taboo areas of the traditional Tamil women’s experience. She has faced great adversity – including obscenity charges and violent threats for her erotic poetry, and living locked away by her family – to also become a major political leader and campaigner for women’s rights. The Hour Past Midnight was longlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. Women Dreaming is her second novel. Salma lives in the small town of Thuvarankurichi, India.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Meena
Kandasamy

Meena Kandasamy is a poet, fiction writer, translator and activist who lives in Chennai and London. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch and Ms. Militancy, and the critically acclaimed novels The Gypsy Goddess and When I Hit You, Or, The Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. She is the editor of the poetry collection Desires Become Demons (Tilted Axis Press 2019), in which her translations of four Tamil women poets are included alongside some by the late Lakshmi Holmström. Exquisite Cadavers is her latest novel.

 

Meena Kandasamy is a poet, fiction writer, translator and activist who lives in Chennai and London. She has published two collections of poetry, Touch and Ms. Militancy, and the critically acclaimed novels The Gypsy Goddess and When I Hit You, Or, The Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2018. She is the editor of the poetry collection Desires Become Demons (Tilted Axis Press 2019), in which her translations of four Tamil women poets are included alongside some by the late Lakshmi Holmström. Exquisite Cadavers is her latest novel.

 

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

“Women, Dreaming is an evocative double bill of fierce feminine lifescapes, with the iconic Salma’s searing Tamil narrative rendered in translucent English by Meena Kandasamy imbued with the fragrance of Tamil.

Women grapple with life in a universe constructed by men, for men[,] in this moving story set in a tiny village in Tamil Nadu. Despite the claustrophobic trappings of religious patriarchy, they chart their own course and find their own voice. In Salma’s splendid telling, even those who appear to remain static resist through words and silence. It is writing that describes the inner universe of women who do not know the outside world. Salma deftly shows [how] these women navigate their sad, emotional landscape, holding time in their hands, gradually stepping outside their sorrows. India International Centre Library, India

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
15/10/2020
Country
India
Original Language
Tamil
Author
Publisher
Tilted Axis Press
Translator
Meena Kandasamy
Translation
Translated from Tamil

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