Malayalam writer Sethu's amazing short story collection now in English
Ten short stories written by eminent Malayalam writer Sethu has been translated into English.
The tales in the collection "A Guest for Arundhathi and Other Stories" have been translated from Malayalam by K Kunhikrishnan.
The first story "Her Corner of Earth" is about a woman from Kerala whose two sons live in the US and Abu Dhabi. After years of refusal, she one day makes up her mind to visit her son Gopi and his family in the US. The story goes to describe her travel overseas just before her 82nd birthday and her journey back home.
"In Ammalu the Eligible Girl", three men from Kunnukara visit a house in Thekkumkara to see a girl- Ramankutty, the prospective groom; the matchmaker called Third Man; and the local leader Nanumman, also known as Member. They go to assess if the girl could be the right bride.
The other stories in the collection are "The Babysitter", "Family Tree", "A Guest for Arundhathi", "Shades of Blue", "The Onam Market", "Password", "The Initiation" and "The City".
Kunhikrishnan says while translating Sethu's short stories, he kept a global readership in mind.
"My effort was to recapture authentically their milieu in all its nuances and also to acquire the idiom of the new readership. Such crossovers are not easy."
"For the translator the first challenge is to transport the world of the short stories to another culture with their moisture and fragrance intact, and at the same time to present them in an ambience the English reader will be able to appreciate. To achieve this, I had to take liberties in certain contexts by making small deviations from the Malayalam text," he says.