We are delighted to announce that Ambai has won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award!
Established in 1954, the Sahitya Akademi award is an annual prize conferred by the Sahitya Akademi, India’s National Academy of Letters, for the year’s most outstanding original work published in any of more than 20 major languages recognized by the academy. Ambai has won this year’s prize for her story collection, Sivappu Kazhutthudan Oru Patchaiparavai. She is the fourth Tamil woman to receive this award.
C.S. Lakshmi, writing under the pseudonym of Ambai, is a feminist Tamil writer. She was born in 1944 in Tamil Nadu, and grew up in Bangalore and Mumbai. She received her PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University and her stories have been translated into five volumes entitled In a Forest, A Deer, Fish in a Dwindling Lake, A Meeting on the Andheri Overbridge, The Purple Sea, A Night with a Black Spider, and A Kitchen in the Corner of the House (Archipelago Books, 2019). Her writing touches on societal perceptions and the understanding of one’s self, family, sensitivity, and love and its restrictions. Other non-fiction works include The Face Behind the Mask: Women in Tamil Literature (Vikas, New Delhi, 1984), An Idiom of Silence: An Oral History And Pictorial Study of Art, and Consciousness and Women in a series entitled Seven Seas and Seven Mountains.
In 1988, Lakshmi founded SPARROW (Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women) a non-governmental organization for documenting and archiving the work of female writers and artists. She is currently a member of the University of Michigan’s Global Feminisms Project. She was awarded the Lifetime Literary Achievement Award of Tamil Literary Garden, University of Toronto, in 2008. She lives in Mumbai with her husband, foster daughter and two brothers.
Please join us in congratulating Ambai on adding the Sahitya Akademi award to her long list of literary achievements!
Consider picking up a copy of Ambai’s A Kitchen in the Corner of the House today!