Indulekha, by Oyyarattu Chandumenon, was the first novel published in Malayalam, a language of South India. The title character is a feminist heroine who reads, a habit that clearly unsettles her uncles. To read manuscripts of the Ramayana or the Bhagavad Gita would be one thing, but Indulekha is reading printed books. As a genre, the novel was not indigenous to India: it was imported by English colonizers but enthusiastically adopted by Indians, who began producing novels in their own languages around the time of the Sepoy Mutiny. Benjamin Disraeli’s Henrietta Temple (1837) was probably the model for Indulekha (1890), which was an immediate local success in Calicut and soon published in English in Madras (Fraser 2008: 53–54). A few years earlier, Krupa Satthianadhan had become the first Indian woman to write a novel in English: Saguna (1887–88) is also the story of a New Woman, though she prefers to read George Eliot.