Seasons of the Palm tells the story of Koolaiyan, a young 'dalit' (so-called 'untouchable') farm worker and his painful growth into self-knowledge. Koolaiyan's life is hard–he is in bondage to his landlord, herding his goats, working in his field and home. But Koolaiyan also inhabits another world. Happiest when out with his flocks, he is intimate with the palm-dotted pasture land and the forests that circle it. Caught between an oppressive working life and a rich, layered dream world, Koolaiyan struggles with himself, fighting both his fragility and cynicism. Seasons of the Palm is Perumal Murugan's most recent novel. Vivid in its re-creation of a harsh, yet haunting landscape, Seasons of the Palm is a relentless and compelling novel.
Perumal Murugan is a well-known Tamil writer whose work has won great praise from critics and readers. Recognised as one of the strongest voices in contemporary Tamil literature, Perumal Murugan has written three novels, several short stories and poems, and edited a dialect dictionary. He recently won a prestigious national fiction award.
- Shortlisted for Kiryama Prize, 2005