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Laila Alex

Born in October 1959, as the Daughter of Mr. T. M. Varghese and Mrs. Marykutty Varghese at Kumbanad, Pathanamthitta District. Attended schools in Kottayam and Thiruvananthapuram. After receiving M.A degree of the University of Kerala from the University Institute of English, worked as Lecturer in St Thomas College, Kozhencheri. Currently lives in Philadelphia, U S A and works as a Program Analyst with the City of Philadelphia. Laila Alex continues to write short stories for publications both in Kerala and U. S. She has won awards instituted by Malayalee Association of Philadelphia (2000) and E-Malayalee Award for short story (2016). The language of her stories is deceptively simple; through which the readers are transported to strange and bizarre lands. Dr. Sreedevi K Nair notes: “The contours of the real, the imagined and the unnatural; the magical, the mysterious and the mundane; the soothing, the unsettling and the horrifying simply break barriers, blend and mix and make happen her spectacular world- sometimes shocking, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes truly sublime.” The story ‘Pakal-Pekkinavu’ (‘Nightmare at Noon’) (Kunkumam, August 2007) effectively intertwines elements of fantasy and reality. Fantasy seems to be the more dominant element. ‘Pakal-Pekkinavu’ focuses on a dog, which displays human tendencies. Tommy becomes the constant visitor at the narrator’s house, fiercely preventing other people from coming into the house. It kills Steve and his wife becomes terrified. Steve’s wife narrates her experiences in the days before Steve’s death. Tommy, the dog is the neighbor Carmelita’s pet. It displays all attributes of a jealous lover as it kills Steve. The story holds readers spellbound.
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