(Last Updated on : 28/02/2012)
Kamala Markandaya is a well renowned Indian novelist and journalist whose work reflects the contemporary conflict between the Eastern and the Western values. She was born in the year 1924 in Mysore
, in the Indian state
She completed her graduation from Madras University
and after that pursued a career in journalism. She was a Brahmin by birth. Actually, Kamala Markandaya was a pen name used by Kamala Purnaiya Taylor. After the independence of India
, Kamala Markandaya moved to England in the year 1948. Eventually she settled there after marrying an Englishman. Even after her settlement in Britain, she considered herself a true Indian. She died on 16th May, 2004 in London.
The first novel of Kamala Markandaya was "Nectar in a Sieve
" published in the year 1954. Till date, it was a bestseller and it remained as her most popular work. Moreover, American Library Association regarded this novel as a notable book of the year 1955. This novel depicted the difficult life of an Indian peasant. It was written in a narrative style and wonderfully depicted the clashes between the urban and rural societies of India. Next book of Kamala Markandaya was "Some Inner Fury
", published in the year 1955. This novel reflects the distressed relationship between an Indian woman (who is highly educated and her brother is an anti-British terrorist) and a British government servant, who was in love with her. In her next book, "A Silence of Desire" published in the year 1960, the author portrays the setting of a clash of values when a middle-class woman from a religious family seeks medical help from a Hindu faith healer and not from any doctor without her husband's knowledge. Apart from these novels, she also penned down several other novels which helped her in establishing her identity in the writing arena.
The works of Kamala Markandaya feature the modern traditional and spiritual values of Indian societies. Her works have exposed the intrinsic woes of womanhood and feminism in a distinctive and unique style. She also portrayed through her writing that very existence of women is tortuous and the condition is same everywhere. In most of her novels, Markandaya attempted to project the independent minded women and their traditional bounds. She belonged to the revolutionary group of Indian women authors who made their mark in the literary field not only through their chosen subject matter but also through their polished presentation style.
The novels of Kamala Markandaya are popular for boldly depicting the cultural and traditional clashes of different societies.
The names of her novels are as follows -
* "Nectar in a Sieve" (1954)
* "Some Inner Fury" (1955)
* "A Silence of Desire" (1960)
* "Possession" (1963)
* "A Handful of Rice" (1966)
* "The Coffer Dams" (1969)
* "The Nowhere Man" (1972)
* "Two Virgins" (1973)
* "The Golden Honeycomb" (1977)
* "Pleasure City" (1982)
Kamala Markandaya used a syncretism vision for presenting her views regarding the various aspects of feminism. She maintained fluidity and an extreme polished literary style of writing. Besides feministic issues, her novels also depicted the real society and the sufferings of the people of rural India.