This book presents a comprehensive study of nearly 100 of Kaaroor’s short stories. Kaaroor Neelakanta Pillai is one among the Big Six of the ‘new wave’ in Malayalam literature which began in the mid-1940s. The Big Six and their immediate followers wrote about the common man, peasants, pavement-dwellers, fishermen, rickshaw-pullers, underpaid school teachers — their lives, aspirations and vulnerabilities. By treating Kaaroor’s stories as case studies, the book takes a sociological approach to understanding the representation of a wide array of themes: romantic overtones, erotic pursuits, marital episodes, issues of family, lives of children, behavioural patterns, shades of greed, the idea of spirituality and politics in Malayalam literature.

With its annotated transcreation and detailed commentary, this book brings Kaaroor’s works to the general reader, and will be useful to scholars and researchers of South Asian literature, English literature, linguistics, cultural studies, besides those interested in Malayalam literature and the Malayali/Indian diaspora across the world.

chapter 1|9 pages

Introductory notes on the ‘Big Six’

chapter 2|14 pages

Romantic overtones

chapter 3|12 pages

Erotic pursuits

chapter 4|19 pages

Marital episodes

chapter 5|21 pages

On small children and teenagers

chapter 6|10 pages


Sinking, troubled

chapter 7|11 pages

‘Sir’ stories

chapter 8|7 pages


The other side

chapter 9|8 pages

Dictates of fate

chapter 10|11 pages

Behavioural patterns

chapter 11|11 pages

Some social issues

chapter 12|7 pages

Political themes

chapter 13|8 pages

Shades of greed

chapter 14|14 pages

Profiles of the poor

chapter 15|10 pages

Some uncommon people

chapter 16|6 pages

Social dropouts

chapter 17|9 pages

Spiritual themes

chapter 18|9 pages

Some more episodes

chapter 19|11 pages

Tuskers and mahouts

chapter 20|5 pages

Kaaroor’s ‘Zoo’

chapter 21|13 pages

Sociology through literature

Some endnotes