Carving her way through democracy and human rights, Meena Kandasamy is one of more than millions of phenomenal women who has been honoured as the recipient of the Hermann Kesten award, which solely recognises her work on the themes of caste, gender, and ethnic oppression.
Her writing depicts the complexities that happened around herself:
“She gives victims of violence a voice and always speaks up when intellectuals, dissidents, and academics face distress.”
Not only is her work being celebrated today, but in antiquity, she was a celebrated author. Let’s look at some of her bestselling publications under her belt – When I Hit You: Or, A Portrait of the Writer as a Young Wife (2017), The Gypsy Goddess (2014), Ms Militancy (2010), and #ThisPoemWillProvokeYou and Other Poems (2015).
So, who is actually Meena Kandasamy?
Fearless and selfless; That’s what the writer would describe Meena as.
Meena – is a feminist and an anti-caste activist whose work revolves around the issue of gender, caste, sexuality, patriarchy, and oppression by the Brahmanical system.
Her novels have been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize, and the Hindu Lit Prize. She previously held an editorial role at the English-language magazine ‘The Dalit’. Kandasamy has been a vocal critic of the arrest of fellow writers like Varavara Rao and former Delhi University professor G N Saibaba.
According to DW, her latest novel bearing the title, Exquisite Cadavers is stylistically creative and exquisite at sentence-level novella written in response to the reaction to the reception of When I Hit You, with Meena deciding to write a novel “based on a story as removed from my own as possible…”
With that being said, the writer would proudly say that her insights, honesty, and razor-sharp wit defined her writing and made her stand out among her male counterparts.