Triveni: ಶರಪಂಜರ (Sharapanjara; Cage of Arrows; The Mad Woman)

The latest addition to my website is Triveni‘s ಶರಪಂಜರ (Sharapanjara; Cage of Arrows; The Mad Woman). Triveni was a feminist Indian writer, writing in Kannada. This was one of only two of her novels published in English and was written shortly before she died in childbirth. It tells the story of Kaveri, a good-looking and intelligent woman who marries Satish, a good-looking and intelligent man. Initially, they have a very happy marriage. After the birth of her second son, she has a nervous breakdown and spends two years in a mental hospital. On her return, her children barely know her and she is rejected by her husband and most other people. Anything she does that seems slightly untoward (e.g. picking up a knife to peel some fruit) is seen as evidence that she is still mad, though she feels that she has fully recovered. It is a feminist novel but also a plea for better understanding of mental illness. It was made into a successful film in India.

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