Longlisted | Book Awards 2022 | Translated into English
My Family ()
A classic of unmatched lyrical beauty by the ‘modern Mira’
For Mahadevi Varma, her animal companions were her chosen family. This family comes alive in Mahadevi’s lyrical prose, depicting the animals’ relationships with her, each other, and the human inhabitants of her home and her school. Rescued peacocks, squirrels, dogs, rabbits, and deer romp through these pages, each an unforgettable individual of many moods. Charming hand-drawn illustrations complement the delightful writing. Together, these portraits reveal an urban modernity permeated by nature.
In this first-ever translation of a little-known classic, Ruth Vanita brilliantly captures Mahadevi’s empathetic imagination, sparkling wit, and intense observation of detail. In her introduction, Vanita illuminates Mahadevi’s feminist and literary legacy, her powerful indictment of human cruelty, and how her prose sprang from the fount of her feelings for animals.