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Black Coffee in a Coconut Shell

Caste as Lived Experience

About The Book

Caste, as it is experienced in everyday life, is the pièce de résistance of this book. Thirty-two voices narrate how from childhood to adulthood, caste intruded upon their lives—food, clothes, games, gait, love, marriage and every aspect of one's existence including death. Like the editor Perumal Murugan says, caste is like god, it is omnipresent.

The contributors write about the myriad ways in which they have experienced caste. It may be in the form of forgoing certain kinds of food, or eating food at secluded corners of a household, or drinking tea out of a crushed plastic cup, or drinking black coffee in a coconut shell or water poured from above into a cupped hand. Such experiences may also take the form of forbidden streets, friends disapproved of and love denied. And when one leaves behind the fear of caste while living one's life, there is still death to deal with.

About The Authors

Perumal Murugan is an author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes novels in Tamil.

Dr CS Lakshmi has been an independent researcher in Women’s Studies for more than forty years. She has a Ph.D. from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. She writes under the pseudonym Ambai in Tamil about love, relationships, quests and journeys and her short story collections have been published in Tamil and also translated into English. She is currently the Director of SPARROW (Sound & Picture Archives for Research on Women).

Product Details

  • Publisher: S&S India (October 27, 2023)
  • Length: 230 pages
  • ISBN13: 9789392099847
  • Ages: 18 - 80

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