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Anthill (Puttu, winner of Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award)

Anthill (Puttu, winner of Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award)

Vinoy Thomas
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The remote village of Perumpadi, at the border between Kerala and Karnataka, is a unique settlement. Bounded by dense Kodagu forests on the south and west, and raging rivers on the north and east, its very isolation was what drew the first settlers to this unharnessed land.

The first to make his way across this rough terrain was Kunjuvarkey, along with a young woman bearing his child. Kunjuvarkey was fleeing the opprobrium of getting his own daughter pregnant. Those who followed had similar shameful secrets. In a land of sinners, where no one pried into the other’s past, they were able to live and build a community without being tied down by society’s interdictions.

Fifty years later, as the community moves into modernity, they start showing signs of reforming from their beginnings-of a hillbilly and promiscuous existence. With no panchayats to resolve local disputes, following in his father’s footsteps, Jeremias Paul of Reformation House, known by the moniker President, becomes the unchallenged adjudicator of Perumpadi, thanks to his equanimity and sense of fairness.

But Jeremias has his own secrets and, ultimately, may have to answer for his own moral lapse.

Anthill, a robust translation of the award-winning novel Puttu and with a cast of over 200 characters, tells the story of a people who have tried to shed the shackles of family, religion and other restraining institutions, but eventually also struggle to conform to the needs of a cultured society.

Written with disarming honesty and biting humour, Anthill is ultimately a story that questions the veneer
of respectability people try to put up in their lives.

Imprint: Vintage Books

Published: Jan/2023

ISBN: 9780670096596

Length : 352 Pages

MRP : ₹599.00

Anthill (Puttu, winner of Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award)

Vinoy Thomas

The remote village of Perumpadi, at the border between Kerala and Karnataka, is a unique settlement. Bounded by dense Kodagu forests on the south and west, and raging rivers on the north and east, its very isolation was what drew the first settlers to this unharnessed land.

The first to make his way across this rough terrain was Kunjuvarkey, along with a young woman bearing his child. Kunjuvarkey was fleeing the opprobrium of getting his own daughter pregnant. Those who followed had similar shameful secrets. In a land of sinners, where no one pried into the other’s past, they were able to live and build a community without being tied down by society’s interdictions.

Fifty years later, as the community moves into modernity, they start showing signs of reforming from their beginnings-of a hillbilly and promiscuous existence. With no panchayats to resolve local disputes, following in his father’s footsteps, Jeremias Paul of Reformation House, known by the moniker President, becomes the unchallenged adjudicator of Perumpadi, thanks to his equanimity and sense of fairness.

But Jeremias has his own secrets and, ultimately, may have to answer for his own moral lapse.

Anthill, a robust translation of the award-winning novel Puttu and with a cast of over 200 characters, tells the story of a people who have tried to shed the shackles of family, religion and other restraining institutions, but eventually also struggle to conform to the needs of a cultured society.

Written with disarming honesty and biting humour, Anthill is ultimately a story that questions the veneer
of respectability people try to put up in their lives.

Buying Options
Paperback / Hardback

Vinoy Thomas

VINOY THOMAS hails from Nellikkampoyil, Iritty, in north Kerala. A schoolteacher by profession, he is one of the most promising young writers in Malayalam. His short-story collections include Ramachi, Mullaranjanam and Adiyormisiha Enna Novel. His debut novel, Karikkottakkary (English translation soon to be published by Penguin Random House India) was selected as one of the five best novels in the DC Books competition. His second novel, Puttu (Anthill), won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for the best Malayalam novel of 2021. In 2019, Ramachi had won the same award for short stories. Vinoy has also authored a children's book, Anatham Piriyatham. His short stories have been made into movies. He is also a gifted scriptwriter and has to his credit a few acclaimed movies.

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