T.D. Ramakrishnan seeks to make a notion of women’s histories as alternative voices to mythical, moral and historical narratives.
The novel having won the Vayalar Award is a daring but magical blend of mythological and the historical set in contemporary spaces of socio-political unrest and global capitalism.
The myth of Devanayaki blends with the political assassination of Rajani, and the torture and disappearance of the LTTE activist Sugandhi.
Rajani Thiranagama, a prominent Sri Lankan human rights activist was brutally shot down by rebel Tigers. Formerly she had been active in aiding the Tamil Tigers but had become increasingly disillusioned by the atrocities committed by the Peace Keeping Force, LTTE and the Sri Lankan army, choosing to voice her discontent.
The quest for the modern Tamil liberation activist Sugandhi in the contemporary landscape of Sri Lankan trauma and loss is fuelled by tales of the mythical Sugandhi, her archetypal ancestor from a folkloric past, which creates a throbbing tension between fiction and reality.
A great novel with a unique plot and spine chilling narration that is capable to take you to another world of riots, resistance, loss and power. T.D. Ramakrishnan’s Sugandhi Enna Andal Devanayaki definitely sets the bar high.