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Author: K. S. Gowri Ammal (Translated by K. S. Muthukrishnan)
Pages: 231
Price: HB Rs 300, FB Rs 200
Year of Publication: 2008
HB 978-81-8157-656-9 (9788181576569)
FB 978-81-8157-657-6 (9788181576576)

About the Author:
Gowri Ammal (1909-1987) was born in Bangalore and was the sixth child in a family of ten children. Hailing from the Tamil Iyer lineage, her father, Professor Sambasiva Iyer, was a state geologist of Mysore and a professor of geology. She was married to K Sankaranarayana Iyer, the only son of a district judge, when she was thirteen. She found the move to Thiruvidiamarudur oppressive in many ways. Her son, Muthukrishnan, was born in 1927 and daughter, Vijayalakshhmi, in 1929. The four of them moved to Madras in 1936. After Gori Ammal met a number of her husband’s colleagues, she developed an interest and understanding of the day’s political issues and at the same time began her spiritual quest. Kadivalam, meaning the bit in the horse’s mouth which holds the reins in place, was published in 1949. She had submitted it for the Narayanswami Iyer Memorial novel competition organized by Kalaimagal. It came close but did not win the award. An early first-person narrative, it depicts the maturing of a young man as he moves away from home to the outside world. An important concern of the novel is the key role that the mother plays in the family.


From the Preface

‘“Had Amma been alive…”
If we wish to know what could happen when the lady of the house is no more, reading Mrs. Gowri Ammal’s work will suffice the purpose. The writer beautifully portrays the plight of a family where the mother passes away leaving behind several children who are in different stages of life, and a husband taking up heavy responsibility. He has no peace of mind, and with no independent mind, he becomes a puppet, acting to the whims of the wishes of those who could control him. This novel reveals how the situation of the family declines steadily.”

24 Chapters

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