Bama (born ), also known as Bama Faustina Soosairaj, is a Tamil, Dalit feminist, committed teacher and novelist. She rose to fame with her autobiographical novel Karukku (), which for Dalit children in Uttiramerur. Bama’s Karukku has been translated to English and Kusumbukkaran and Sangati to French. Using Bama’s Karukku as a case-study, it explores the shift between the generic conventions Bama’s Karukku appeared in the Tamil version in (English. Karukku is the English translation of Bama’s seminal autobiography, which tells the story of a Dalit woman who left her convent to escape from the caste.

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Chimmamanda Ngozie Adichie who is one of my favourite authors, says in The Danger of a Single Story, that there is an inherent danger in reducing human beings to just a single story; by doing so we are dehumanising them.

Bama (writer)

Shopbop Designer Fashion Brands. Karukku reads as a serrating monologue, Bama packs a vicious punch in this svelte autobiographical novel. Irrespective of whichever caste you were born into, if you have ever been subjected to feel unworthy of yourself by anybody be it society, government, family or friendsthen you are a Dalit. Share your thoughts with other customers. She opens up about the discrimination she and her community faced, the difficulties and sufferings they had enlish go through in order to survive and the obstacles they had to face on their way to progress.

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Karukku by Bama

Jan 31, Mathangi rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Bama had her early education in her village. Visit our Help Pages. Just thinking who I should gift this book.


Karukky the book is touted as a Dalit feminist writing, that’s probably what I looked for but didn’t find too many instances of. Bama rendered her tale in simple and plain words. Lists with This Book. It is interesting to note the contrast with Omprakash Valmiki here. And maybe that’s because there are engkish many moments of vulnerability in this book, in those individual chapters, just being able to read it feels like a big deal.

But, in general, what put me off was this feeling of hypocrisy on the author’s part about caste discrimination – she tells us how her Paraya community was discriminated against but the tone she uses with the communities that are karukky lower on the caste hierarchy gypsies, for example was quite discriminatory and stereotypical too.

So Bama Faustina published her milestone work Karukku privately in —a passionate and important mix of history, sociology, and the strength to remember.

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Bama (writer) – Wikipedia

Sold by uRead-Store and ships from Amazon Fulfillment. I have always loved reading about the emotionally open and evocative relationships that women share with themselves, their bodies, their several identities. Views Read Edit View history. The living condition of the Parayas, as Bama describes it, is pitiful; and the way they are abused by everyone up bqma the caste ladder they happen to be on the lowest rung with even the police colluding is horrific.

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‘Karukku’: An Autobiography By Bama Exploring Her Tamil, Dalit And Christian Identity

Even leaving the convent proved a Herculean task as she was constantly stopped by the more senior nuns. Leave a Reply Cancel reply. Here’s an excellent introduction written by the Lakshmi Holmstrom which appeared in Outlook. This second edition includes a Postscript in which Bama relives the dramatic movement of her leave-taking from her chosen vocation and a special note ‘Ten Years Later’.


This is the first autobiographical book for reviewing feels very wrong. Sadly most of the oppression related in the novel is still relevant. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Here’s how terms and conditions apply.

The first autobiography by a Dalit woman author published in Later, Bama describes her adult life, how she became a nun, and later left the order when she witnessed the hypocrisy of the Church in its attitude towards the poor and the Dalits. In Karukku, Bama attempts to provide us a glimpse of her life as a Dalit girl growing up in a village in Tamil Nadu.

Incidentally, both Valmiki and Bama do not seem to have heard of or read about Dr. I should always stand away to one side. The book is written in a very specific dialect Southern Tamil which definitely looses at least some of the lyricality and the rhythms in translation and may appear redundant to some.