Translated from Malayalam by Vasanthi Sankaranarayanan
Oxford University Press
208 pages, Rs. 350
The only novel by one of Kerala’s best-known short-story writers, Lalithambika Antharjanam, and first published in 1976 when the author was 67 years old, Agnisakshi is an account of a woman’s life set against both the customs, habits and culture of the Namboodiri community, as well as the national freedom struggle. The characters include Tethi, a dazzling but disappointed bride who renounces worldly life; Unni Namboodiri, whose adherence to the Vedic way of life destroys his personal happiness; and Thankam, Unni’s cousin and the mighty Aphan Namboodiri’s daughter, seeking her own liberation from the past.