Bama (Faustina Soosairaj)
Being Human, Being Dalit
This presentation will be an engagement with and an experiential interpretation of characteristics of Tamil culture and literature (including Tamil Dalit literature) from the perspective of a Dalit woman.
Bama is a pioneering Dalit novelist from Tamil Nadu, India. Her first novel Karukku (1992), is not only the first autobiographical work of its kind but written in the Dalit dialect of her community it broke new ground in both fiction writing as well as in the use of the spoken language in fiction. Karukku rendered visible a reality that is seldom acknowledged - the persistence of caste in places that are meant to banish it altogether. Karukku has won several awards and has been translated into many languages. Bama has subsequently written two more novels, Sangathi (1994) and Vanmam (2002) and two collections of short stories, Kusumbukkaran (1996) and Oru Tattavum Erumaiyum (2003).