AN ANTI-NOVEL

Tamil Nadu, 1968.
 
Village landlords rule over a feudal system that forces peasants to break their backs in the fields or suffer beatings as punishment. In the misery of their daily lives it is little wonder that the Communist Party begins to gain traction, a small spark of defiance spreading from villager to villager. As communities across the region begin to take a stand against the landlords, the landlords vow to break them; Party organizers suffer grisly deaths and the flow of food into the market-places dries up. But it only serves to make the villagers' resistance burn more fiercely. Finally, the landlords descend on one village, Kilvenmani, to set an example to the others. . .
 
Brilliantly original, ferociously angry and, at times, laugh-out-loud funny, THE GYPSY GODDESS is both a novel about a true-life massacre and a novel about the impossibility of writing a novel about a true-life massacre.
 
Treading the line between powerful fiction and fearsome critique, this novel leads us through modern India and along the way, points out injustices of privilege, hypocrisies of authority and the unforgiveable politics of turning a blind eye.
First published in English (Atlantic Books, UK, HarperCollins India 2014). This novel's translation has been published in Dutch (De Zigeunergodin, Atlas Contact 2016), German (Reis & Asche, Verlag Wunderhorn 2016), French (La Colere de Kurathi Amman , Plon 2017) and Tamil (Kurathiamman, Anangu Pathipakkam, 2017). 
Listed:
* Dylan Thomas International Prize,
* DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Chosen as one of Independent magazine's "Debut of the Year" novels

Dazzling, maddening, often hilarious... Kandasamy’s in-your-face narrative is unashamedly tricksy but handled with sublime confidence.

Kate Saunders

The Times

Bold. Powerful. The Gypsy Goddess has a radical core, which offers bold perspectives on the relationship between poverty and power.

Hirsh Sawhney

The Guardian

It would take Carol Ann Duffy, Caroline Criado-Perez, Kandasamy’s hero Arundhati Roy and, if her first work of fiction The Gypsy Goddess is anything to go by, Salman Rushdie to match Kandasamy’s infinite variety.. A novel of self-conscious experimentalism and unmistakable fury, it throws down a gauntlet to conservative literary and political sensibilities

James Kidd

Independent

The Gypsy Goddess is clever, serious, witty, devastating, unusual and breathtakingly varied.

Urvashi Butalia

Outlook

Kandasamy doesn’t just inherit a history of writing about the unspeakable and the forgotten, in The Gypsy Goddess, she rewrites the novel of violence, and questions every accepted way of turning violence into literature.

Nilanjana Roy

Business Standard

For all its humour, for all its dash and sparkle, The Gypsy Goddess is a novel chomping at the bit, seething with rage and unafraid to assault the reader with scenes of remorseless rape, cold-blooded revenge killings and the occasional impaled infant. Kandasamy employs cinematic metaphors to devastating effect. . . This is a novel whose audacity is matched only by its penchant for shifting register.

Aditya Mani Jha

Sunday Guardian

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