It is 800 words. Here is the first paragraph: Anand Pandian’s beautifully written ‘Crooked Stalks’ is animated by a deep engagement with the moral life of an erstwhile classified, condemned and policed ‘Criminal Tribe’: the Piramalai Kallars of the Cumbum valley of south India. Their defiance in the face of a long history of discrimination, and the tough choices they make as they negotiate their journey into modernity, makes for a very moving read. Skillfully weaving together ethnographic exchanges, archival explorations, references to Tamil prose, poetry, and cinema, the author embarks on a deeper, more unsettling issue, that of colonial and post-colonial obsessions with the constructs of ‘savagery’ and ‘civility’.
|Publication status||Published - 2011|