K. Saraswathi Amma

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K. Saraswathi Amma (1919–1975)[1][2] is a Malayalam feminist writer whose short stories have been anthologized in translation in several American texts. According to critic Jancy James, “In the entire history of women's writing in Kerala, Saraswathi Amma's is the most tragic case of the deliberate neglect of female genius.”.[3]

Literary career[edit]

K. Saraswathy Amma made her entry into the Malayalam literary scenario with a short story published in 1938, which was followed by 12 volumes of short stories, one novel, a play,and in 1958, a book of essays titled Purushanmarillatha Lokam.[4] In her time she was marginalized as a 'man hater'. But current feminist scholars have celebrated her as a genius.[5][6]

J. Devika in her article titled 'Beyond Kulina and Kulata: The Critique of Gender Difference in the Writings of K. Saraswati Amma', in Indian Journal of Gender Studies re-reads the writings of K. Saraswati Amma, whom she describes "an author marginalised within the Malayalee literary universe and labelled as an incorrigible man-hater." She considers her paper an "effort to read her writing as an engagement with the positions taken in the debates around modern gender in the early 20th-century Malayalee public sphere." [7]

A selection of Saraswathi Amma's fiction, some of it translated into English were published in the name Stories from a forgotten feminist.[8][9] In the foreword by Jancy James she says "In stories she shattered women's illusions about men and about love, and bitterly attacked patriarchy and tradition, giving her the reputation of being a strident feminist." [10]


[11][12] Novel

  • Premabhajanam (Darling) - - 1944


  • Devaduth (Messenger of God) -1945

Short stories

  • Ponnumkudam (Pot of Gold) - - 1946
  • SthreeJanmam (Born as a woman) - 1946
  • Keezhjeevanakkari (Subjugatef woman)- 1949
  • Kalamandiram (Temple of art) - 1949
  • Penbuddhi (Women's wit) - 1951
  • Kanatha Mathil (Thick wall) - 1953
  • Prema Pareekshanam (Experiment of love) - 1955
  • Chuvanna Pookkal (Red flowers) - 1955
  • Cholamarangal (Shady trees) - 1958

Collection of essays

  • Purushanmaarillatha Lokam (World without men)

Posthumously published

  • Stories from a forgotten feminist