Revathi, an engineer, is besotted with Ravi, an auto driver, and marries him against her family’s wishes. As her life unravels, we are brought face-to-face with the realities of narrow-minded, small lives, where it remains impossible for people to rise above the societal chains that shackle them. The novel explores one’s helplessness and vulnerability in prose that is deceptively simple, it lays bare the insidious ways in which class, caste and misogyny infiltrate our lives and eat away at our humanity. Relentless and intense, most of the story unfurls in the hospital to which Revathi is brought as a burn victim. Her father, mother, brother and sister-in-law are in turns enraged, sorrowful, aggressive; her father carries around lakhs of rupees in the hope that he can use it for his daughter’s treatment but is the money worthless now? Can it bring his daughter back to him? Imayam’s is a voice to watch out for – he writes with clinical precision, laying threadbare the hypocrisies of family life and the society at large in a manner that spares no one and offers little redemption.
Imayam depicts the stark reality of contemporary Tamizh society in his writing. He has written eight novels and eight collections of short stories so far. Among the many awards he has received are the Tamil Nadu State award, the Sahitya Akademi award, Kuvempu Rashtriya Puraskar, and the Canadian Iyal Lifetime Achievement award. His works have been translated into Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu, Hindi, English, and French.
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