By N. Prabhakaran
Translated by Jayasree Kalathil
A collection of sensitive, world-bending human portraits from short story writer N. Prabhakaran.
Publication Date: 4/25/23
A research scholar whose notebook reveals a surreal pig farm... A psychologist in search of the truth about one of his clients... An aspiring writer who emulates Gogol... The unforgettable men and women in N. Prabhakaran's stories have an uncanny ability to expose the fault lines between the real and the unreal, the normal and the mad, as they explore their own inner worlds and psychic wounds.
A pioneer of the post-modern aesthetic turn, N. Prabhakaran weaves the nitty-gritty of everyday, small-town lives into his imaginative tales. Set in northern Kerala, these five stories are steeped in folklore, nature, factional politics and the intricacies of human relationships. Brilliantly translated by Jayasree Kalathil, Diary of a Malayali Madman marks the very first time this major Indian writer's work is available in English.
N Prabhakaran is a major contemporary writer in Kerala and is considered a pioneer of the post-modern aesthetic turn in Malayalam literature. He has published over forty works of novels, poetry, plays, short story collections, essays and a memoir. He is the recipient of several honours including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award; the EMS Memorial Trust Award; the Vaikom Muhammed Basheer Memorial Trust award; the Malayatoor Award; and the Muttathu Varky Literary Award for Contributions to Malayalam literature. Diary of a Malayali Madman, translated by Jayasree Kalathil, won the 2019 Crossword Book Award. His latest novel, Mayamanushyar, won the Odakkuzhal Award in 2020.
Jayasree Kalathil’s translations have won the JCB Prize for Literature (for S. Hareesh’s Moustache in 2020) and the Crossword Book Award (for N. Prabhakaran’s Diary of a Malayali Madman in 2019). Her latest translation, Sheela Tomy’s Valli, was shortlisted for the 2022 JCB Prize for Literature and for the Atta Galatta-BLF Book Prize. She is the author of the children’s book The Sackclothman, which has been translated into Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. She was selected as one of the two translators-in-residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia, in 2023.
"Strangeness dominates these dreamlike tales. Their narratives are nonlinear; they value experience and the act of articulation…Character-driven, postmodern, and bizarre, the short story collection 'Diary of Malayali Madman' gives voice to those who are constrained and who are driven somewhat mad by the social constraints that bind them." —Camille Yvette-Welsch, Foreword Reviews
"Prabhakaran makes his English-language debut with a twisty collection featuring Indian characters on the margins. . . Fans of contemporary Indian literature ought to take a look." —Publisher's Weekly