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(Hangwoman: Everyone Loves a Good Hanging)
AuthorK. R. Meera
TranslatorJ. Devika
PublisherDC Books (Malayalam), Hamish Hamilton (English)
Publication date
December 2012 (2012-12)
Published in English
AwardsSahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Odakkuzhal Award, Vayalar Award

Aarachaar (Malayalam: ആരാച്ചാർ, romanizedĀrāccāṟ, lit. 'Executioner', Hangwoman) is a Malayalam novel written by K. R. Meera.[1] Originally serialised in Madhyamam Weekly in continuous 53 volumes, the novel was published as a book by DC Books in 2012. It was translated by J. Devika into English under the title Hangwoman: Everyone Loves a Good Hanging (Hamish Hamilton, 2014).

Set in Bengal, it tells the story of a family of executioners with a long lineage, beginning in the fourth century BC. The protagonist of the novel, Chetna, is a strong and tenacious woman who struggles to inherit this profession.

According to noted literary critic M. Leelavathy, Aarachaar is one of the best literary works produced in Malayalam and follows the legacy of O. V. Vijayan's classic work Khasakkinte Itihasam.[2] The novel received the 2013 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.[3][4] It was also awarded the Odakkuzhal Award in 2013,[5] Vayalar Award in 2014,[6][7] Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015,[8] and Muttathu Varkey Award in 2018. It was also shortlisted for the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.[9]


  1. ^ Meena T. Pillai (30 August 2013). "Goddess of Death". The Hindu. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  2. ^ "ആരാച്ചാര്‍ മലയാളത്തിലെ ഏറ്റവും നല്ല നോവലുകളിലൊന്ന് : ഡോ. എം ലീലാവതി" Archived 2014-03-23 at the Wayback Machine. DC Books. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  3. ^ "2013-ലെ കേരള സാഹിത്യ അക്കാദമി അവാർഡുകൾ പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ചു" (PDF). Kerala Sahitya Akademi. December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Sahitya Akademi award for Meera's 'Aarachar'". The Times of India. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  5. ^ "കെ ആര്‍ മീരയുടെ ആരാച്ചാറിന് ഓടക്കുഴല്‍ പുരസ്‌കാരം" Archived 2014-01-14 at the Wayback Machine. DC books. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Vayalar Award for Meera". The Hindu. 12 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  7. ^ "K R Meera gets Vayalar award". Business Standard. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
  8. ^ "KR Meera wins Kendra Sahitya Akademi award"[permanent dead link]. Malayala Manorama. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Meera's Hangwoman in DSC prize shortlist". The Hindu. 28 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.

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