Kamala Markandaya

Kamala Markandaya (1924 - May 16, 2004) was a pseudonym used by Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, an Indian novelist and journalist. A native of Mysore, India, Markandaya was a graduate of Madras University, and afterwards published several short stories in Indian newspapers. After India declared its independence, Markandaya moved to Britain, though she still labeled herself an Indian expatriate long afterwards.

Known for writing about culture clash between Indian urban and rural societies, Markandaya's first published novel, Nectar in a Sieve, was a bestseller and cited as a American Library Association Notable Book in 1955. Other novels include Some Inner Fury (1955), A Silence of Desire (1960), Possession (1963), A Handful of Rice (1966), The Nowhere Man (1972), Two Virgins (1973), The Golden Honeycomb (1977), and Pleasure City (1982/1983).

Kamala Markandaya belonged to that pioneering group of Indian women writers who made their mark not just through their subject matter, but also through their fluid, polished literary style. "Nectar in a Sieve" was her first published work, and its depiction of rural India and the suffering of farmers made it popular in the West. This was followed by other fiction that dramatized the Quit India movement in 1942, the clash between East and West and the tragedy that resulted from it, or the problems facing ordinary middle-class Indians—making a living, finding inner peace, coping with modern technology and its effects on the poor.

Markandaya died in London on May 16, 2004.

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