Father May Be an Elephant and Mother Only a Small Basket, But…

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Translated from Telugu

Gogu Shyamala

  • Number of Pages: 263
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Size: 5 x 7.8"
  • ISBN: 9788194447108

Lines that cut to the very gut.

Gogu Shyamala’s stories dissolve the borders of realism, allegory and political fable. Whether she is describing the setting sun, or the way people are gathered at a village council like ‘thickly strewn grain on the threshing floor’, or a young woman astride her favorite buffalo, Shyamala walks us through a world that is at once particular and universal.


Gogu Shyamala, poet and short story writer, is a senior fellow at the Anveshi Research Centre for Women, Hyderabad. She has edited Nallappoddu: Dalitha Sthreela Sahithyam 1921–2002 (Black Dawn: Dalit Women’s Writings, 1921–2002).




In the media

‘Possesses an astonishing clarity of visual spectacle and sensory delight as they portray the lives of the village’—DNA

‘Shyamala avoids a bleakness of tone while leaving alive the possibilities of violence is a tribute to her mastery over the short story form’—Mint Lounge

‘Gogu Shyamala uses her expressive prose to convert caste and gender oppression into stories about human dignity’—Outlook

‘The stories are not an accumulation of horrors and tears, but the untold story of the invisible people of rural Telangana. These are also stories of their resilience and their ability to move on’—The Indian Express

‘These stories make the margin a place of vivid enchantments, rendered with idiomatic vitality’Open

‘Luminous, moving and funny … almost deceptive in its lightness of touch, and deftness of language’—Tehelka

‘Shyamala’s greatest achievement is the note of humour and lightness that sounds through this collection’—Wall Street Journal–Mint