On a River’s Bank


Author: A Madhavan
Translator: M Vijayalakshmi
Publisher: Ratna Books
(Pp 140, ISBN 978-93-86600-55-4, Rs 249)

A story of ordinary people told in an extraordinary manner – that’s the beauty of this novel. Published originally in 1974 in Tamil, Punalum Manalum is a path-breaking novel, highlighting the issue of environmental degradation through over-exploitation.

Beautifully written, the book portrays a girl, who has a deformed appearance and how her stepfather attributes all his miseries and ill luck to her. The author shows that how a river, which is worshipped, turns ugly after it is violated and exploited. The book actually flows like a river, matching human emotions with nature.

The translator M Vijayalakshmi has maintained the flow of the novel and has done a commendable job to keep it interesting till the end. Another laudable literary work from the house of Ratna Books!

– Varsha Verma

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