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Vasudevan’s One Part woman wins Sahitya Akademi Award for translation of Mathorubhagan

The controversy related to the Tamil version of One Part Woman forced the original author Murugan to withdraw from the world of writing.

Apr 20, 2017 12:19 IST
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One Part woman, Sahitya Akademi Award for English translationOne Part Woman, a translation work of Perumal Murugan’s controversial Tamil novel Maadhorubaagan, by Aniruddhan Vasudevan on 19 April 2017 was chosen for 2016 Sahitya Akademi’s award for translation in English.

The translation work by Aniruddhan Vasudevan and published by Penguin and has already won the Canada Ilakkiya Thotta Virudhu award.

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As per reports, the award that includes a casket containing an engraved copper plaque and a cash component of Rs 50000 would be presented to Vasudevan at a ceremony in June 2017. Vasudevan will be felicitated with the award along with the winners of the Sahitya Akademi award in 23 languages.

About One Part Woman

The book, One Part Woman, is a novel based on a possible ancient cultural practice among people living around Tiruchengode. It is the story of a childless couple, Kali and Ponna, with a strong desire of having a child. Hounded by the taunts and insinuations of others, all their hopes come to converge on the chariot festival in the temple of Ardhanareeswara, the half-female god. Everything hinges on the one night when rules are relaxed and consensual union between any man and woman is sanctioned. This night could end the couples suffering and humiliation. But it will also put their marriage to the ultimate test.

Earlier, the book was written in Tamil under the name Madhorubagan by Perumal Murugan. The Tamil version of the book came into controversy.

Tamil Novel Madhorubhagan written by Perumal Murugan

About the controversy

The title Madhorubagan describes Lord Shiva in his Ardhanari avatar, which is a combination of a man and woman, came into debate/controversy after few groups alleged that the book was portraying the Kailasanathar temple in Tiruchengode and its women devotees in a bad light. They demanded that the book be should be banned. The controversy came to an end after the 2016 Madras High Court judgement, which favoured Murugan.

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