This website is an attempt at documenting women's writing in Malayalam in the most comprehensive manner. The aim is to learn more about this area, to acknowledge all writers duly as well as to facilitate research on their works that have come to us from the earliest times to the present. Considering the fact that writing has many dimensions, the project has set its sights not merely on creative or imaginative works alone, like short stories, novels, plays and poems, but embraces all forms of composition - autobiographies, travel writings, social treatises, science articles, translations, critical pieces, spiritual essays, cookery books and so on.
In a bid to trace the paths traversed and the milestones crossed by women writers in Malayalam our earliest efforts were directed towards identifying each and every individual who had published at least one book. Preparation of notes on their works was the next step. Today, our database includes names and literary profiles of over 650 women writers, gathered from various important libraries in Kerala. The sad discovery that even when many writers are included in catalogues and historical accounts, their books are not found in library shelves further strengthened our conviction that all available writing has to be collected, preserved and made available to readers and researchers. Today we have in our possession fairly substantial information about nearly 200 women who remain in public memory as mere names or whose works have been long lost to oblivion. But more needs to be done. For instance, virtually nothing is known about A. Saraswathy Bai whose "Brainless Women" is considered to be the first short story written by a woman in Malayalam. Efforts continue to gather more data about writers like her.
The project entered its second phase with the realization that even single pieces - be it an essay, short story or poem - has to be accorded as much importance as books. This led to a search to find out all the women writers who had published their works in magazines like Mathrubhumi, Bhashaposhini, Granthalokam, Vijnanakairali, Pachchakuthira, Paaddhabhedam and so on till 2000-2010. More new writers came into view, making the work of preparing their literary profiles more challenging. In order to ensure that all the details were accurate, we corresponded directly to the writers and sought replies to our detailed questionnaire. Each entry has been cast into a definite format which includes a short bio-note, a comprehensive list of the titles in their canon, an extract from the most representative piece and a short critique. This is an ongoing project because we have extended our search for new talent by scouring through a few other significant magazines as well.
This website aims at providing an accurate and complete picture of each individual writer. There may, no doubt, be defects in the form of accidental exclusion of certain names or inadequate/wrong information about even major names in the field. One might recall how a woman writer of early times M. Ratnam was, after a long time, discovered to be the pseudonym of a man named Ambadi Narayana Poduval. This trend continues even to this day. Nevertheless we hope that in course of time this website will be able to provide all the available information about any woman writer at the click of a button. The space we offer both readers and authors themselves to add necessary details or to correct mistakes will help us overcome any shortcoming that may have crept in.
What you can do
- If you are a writer, please check whether your name is included in the list. If yes, ensure the accuracy of all the details entered against your name. Your suggestions or any information regarding your latest publication may be sent to us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or letters. If your name does not feature in our database, please send us details about yourself and your writings, along with a copy of your published work(s) to - Samyukta, Post Box No. 1162, Pattom Palace P.O., Thiruvananthapuram – 695 004
- We desire to make your works accessible to readers through this website. With your permission, it is possible. Works of those writers who have given us their written consent are already posted in this site.
- The entries in English are meant to open up the area for vaster research. If you wish to include English translations of your works too, please send them to us via email, along with a written consent.
- If you are a reader, you may verify the information available with you against the entries in this website. Whatever corrections you wish to see incorporated may please be sent to us.
- We request you to share with us whatever valuable details you have about any writer (living or dead) who has been missed out by us. After checking for accuracy, we will include them and this will help us make the website comprehensive.