Jalasamadhi and Other Stories
Nominated | Book Awards 2020 | Translated into English
Jalasamadhi and Other Stories ()
Sethu’s novels and short stories have always straddled the worlds
Sethu’s novels and short stories have always straddled the worlds of the commonplace and the magical, keeping a fine balance. Long before magical realism became a buzzword, Sethu’s stories took us to the supernatural in the most mundane situations.
The stories in this collection unfold the worlds that are familiar, yet give us glimpses of strange shadows and lights just beyond our sight. Along with characters who drift between fantasy and the here and now, we have a common man like Munuswami, the protagonist of Jalasamadhi, who realizes that it is a bigger sin to induce someone to commit a crime than to commit a crime oneself. The characters who people Sethu’s world take on layers of myth and legend, imagination and poetry but have one thing in common – they are with us long after we have kept the book aside.
A. SETHUMADHAVAN (Sethu), born in a small village in Kerala in the year 1942, has been writing fiction in Malayalam for the past five decades. A banker by profession and a writer by passion, he has 20 titles each of novels and collections of stories to his credit. Widely travelled abroad and having worked in different parts of India, his writings have a global flavour and a pan-Indian canvas. Many of his works have been translated into other languages. His much acclaimed novel Pandavapuram has been translated into 10 languages including English, German, French (being published) and Turkish. Apart from The Cuckoo’s Nest in original, his works translated into English include Pandavapuram, The Saga of Muziris, Aliyah, The Wind from the Hills, Once Upon a Time (novels), Jalasamadhi and other stories, A Guest for Arundhati and During the Journey and other stories (stories). Kadambari: the Flower Girl (novel) is under print. Pandavapuram has been filmed in Malayalam and Bengali, the latter titled Nirakar Chaaya, which won recognition abroad. Four of his works have been filmed, the latest being Jalasamadhi. A winner of all the major awards such as the Sahitya Akademi award and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award (twice), he was also the Chairman of the National Book Trust, New Delhi, for three years. Joining the State Bank of India as a Probationary Officer, he retired as the Chairman and CEO of the South Indian Bank.