Lakshmi Holmström

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Lakshmi Holmström
Holmström at 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival
Holmström at 2013 Jaipur Literature Festival
Born(1935-06-01)1 June 1935
Died6 May 2016(2016-05-06) (aged 80)
Norwich, England
OccupationAuthor, translator glish
Alma materUniversity of Oxford
University of Madras
GenreTamil – English translation
SubjectWomen, classical and contemporary literature
Notable worksSangati (trans.)
Karukku (trans.)
In a Forest, A Deer

Lakshmi Holmström MBE (1 June 1935 – 6 May 2016[1][2]) was an Indian-British writer, literary critic, and translator of Tamil fiction into English. Her most prominent works were her translations of short stories and novels of the contemporary writers in Tamil, such as Mauni, Pudhumaipithan, Ashoka Mitran, Sundara Ramasami, C. S. Lakshmi, Bama, and Imayam. She obtained her undergraduate degree in English Literature from the University of Madras and her postgraduate degree from University of Oxford. Her postgraduate work was on the works of R. K. Narayan. She was the founder-trustee of SALIDAA (South Asian Diaspora Literature and Arts Archive) – an organisation for archiving the works of British writers and artists of South Asian origin. She lived in the United Kingdom.[3][4][5][6][7][8]

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 New Year Honours for services to literature.[9]

She died of cancer on 6 May 2016.[1]


  • Indian Fiction in English: the Novels of R. K. Narayan, Calcutta: Writers’ Workshop (1973)
  • (ed.) The Inner Courtyard: Short Stories by Indian Women, London:Virago Press (1990)
  • (trans.) Ambai's A Purple Sea, Affiliated East-West Press (1992)
  • (ed.) Writing from India: Figures in a Landscape, Cambridge University Press (1994)
  • (trans.) Silappadikaram: Manimekalai, Orient Blackswan (1996)
  • (trans.) Ashoka Mitran's My father's Friend, Sahitya Akademi (2002)
  • (trans.) Bama's Karukku, Oxford University Press (2000)
  • (trans.) Imayam's Beasts of Burden, Manas (2001)
  • (ed.) Waves: An Anthology of Fiction and Poetry Translated from Tamil, Manas (2001)
  • (trans.) Pudumaipithan: Fictions, Chennai: Katha (2003)
  • (trans.) Sundara Ramasami's That's It But, Chennai:Katha (2003)
  • Mauni: A Writers' Writer, Chennai:Katha (2004)
  • (trans.) Na Muthuswamy's Neermai (Waterness), Chennai:Katha (2004)
  • (trans.) Bama's Sangati, Oxford University Press (2005)
  • (trans.) Madhavayya's Clarinda, a Historical Novel, Sahitya Akademi (2005)
  • (trans.) In A Forest, A Deer: Stories by Ambai, Chennai:Katha (2006)
  • (trans.)Salma's The Hour Past Midnight, Zubaan (2009)
  • (ed.)(trans.) The Penguin Book of Tamil Poetry: The rapids of a great river, Penguin Books (2009)
  • (trans.) Cheran Rudramoorthy's A Second Sunrise, Navayana (2012)

Awards and Scholarships[edit]

  • 2000 Crossword Book Award in the Indian language fiction translation category for Karukku by Bama
  • 2003–2006 Fellow, The Royal Literary Fund at University of East Anglia
  • 2006 Crossword Book Award in the Indian language fiction translation category for In a Forest, A Deer by C. S. Lakshmi
  • 2007 Iyal Virudhu Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Canada-based Tamil Literary Garden
  • 2015 Crossword Book Award in the Indian language fiction translation category for Children, Women, Men by Sundara Ramaswamy[10]
  • 2016 The A.K. Ramanujan Book Prize for translation from a South Asian language, awarded by the Association for Asian Studies for Children, Women and Men, originally published as Kuzhandaigal, Pengal, Aangal by Sundara Ramaswamy, Penguin Books India


  1. ^ a b Amanda Hopkinson, "Lakshmi Holmström obituary", The Guardian, 18 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Our lady of Tamil literature". Mumbai Mirror. Retrieved 8 May 2016.
  3. ^ Manoj Nair (23 April 2001). "A Number of Great Indian Writers Are Not Known in the Rest of the World". Outlook Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  4. ^ "Current Fellows – Lakshmi Holmström". The Royal Literary Fund. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Sangati Events". Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  6. ^ "The Hutch Crossword Book Award 2006 for Indian Language Fiction Translation". Crossword Bookstores. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  7. ^ Malashri Lal (29 June 2009). "On Back Stage". Outlook Magazine. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  8. ^ "Tamil poems find an English audience". The Times of India. The Times Group. 22 August 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2010.
  9. ^ "No. 59647". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2010. p. 17.
  10. ^ Zafar Anjum (29 April 2015). "India: Raymond Crossword Book Award 2014 winners announced". Retrieved 29 April 2015.