Pyre by  Perumal Murugan


Perumal Murugan

An intimately drawn story of forbidden love set in the villages of southern India. Told in translation, the read has a powerful simplicity and growing intensity. We follow Kumaresan and Saroja, young lovers from different castes, whose relationship sees them become a target of hostility and violence. At once both a touchingly tender portrait of the resilience of love, and a horrifyingly harsh evocation of brutal societal unacceptance.


But the old granny was not going to leave her at that. ‘Come closer,’ she said, and pulled Saroja towards her. ‘I don’t know what caste you are from, but be very careful with these people,’ she whispered in a gossipy tone. ‘Nōndi has brought you here and set you up on this rock. He doesn’t have many relatives on his father’s side in the vicinity … But relatives on his mother’s side are clustered around here like worms. Uncles and grand uncles, several of them. They might strangle you to death, and then apply some blue dye on your body and claim that you were bitten by a poisonous snake.

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