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The Love Queen of Malabar

 

Kamala Das was born as Kamala Madhavikutty in 1934 and died as Kamala Suraiya in 2009. In her 75 years she cemented her position among the best contemporary poets and writers in the country. Born in Kerala, she  wrote poems, short stories and novels in both English and Malayalam. In one of her poems she writes “I speak three languages, write in two, dream in one.”

Her writing was intensely personal, whimsical and unabashedly explored the awakenings of womanhood,  female sexuality,a yearning for passion and the loss of innocence. She wrote with boldness and without fear of judgment.

In 1971 her controversial autobiography ‘My Story’ was published, which while combining some fictitious elements spoke with stark honesty about her beginnings as a writer and the frustrating pain of a woman struggling to express her sexuality, break out of domestic oppression  and redefine her identity.

Watch her reading her poems while in Canada visiting her friend Merrily Weisbor who has written a memoir of her friendship with the legendary poetess.