The book, Eve in the Land of Kali, is a collection of 12 short stories written by Dr Prema Raghavan who has a literary background and also many academic books against her name. The collection focuses on introducing women protagonists in different roles. In all these short stories in the collection, a reader will find issues related to modern (and troubled as well) world from a female-centric perspective and yet, it appeals the same to anyone because the author has been able to keep the balance intact. The language is somewhat traditional which has enabled the narrative to be elaborative as well as rich. A few stories are a little longer than average stories while a few of them are really short. The book has 144 pages. It has been published by Notion Press in November 2020.
Themes & Issues:
12 short stories in this collection by Prema Raghavan have one thing in common. All of them have women protagonists at the centre of the events, issues and themes. And therefore, one can assume very comfortably that the issues that these stories will bring to the fore must be associated with women. However, this is not some ‘typical’ feminist collection of stories. Prema has tried something which might be called entirely different. She has tried to portray women in various roles in life – as a mother, as a daughter, as a friend, as a spouse and would be… the author has tried to capture and present various situations in the life fo women and how women might react to these. The stories are mostly presented with realistic issues and incidents. And naturally, the readers will be connected to these rather easily compared to other literary works where events and characters are far from the day-to-day reality.
Content, Language, Plot & The Art of Fiction:
Though it has become a usual frustration with contemporary authors that they seldom take care of their language while producing fiction, Prema’s collection, Eve in the Land of Kali, came to me with a pleasant surprise. I, after many months, to be honest, got to read things that I would remember for a long time to come. Prema has tried to be simplistic and yet artistic with her language and she has succeeded to a great extent. She has also tried to present emotions, incidents, conversations and even monologues and narrator’s thoughts in an expanded to the last thread way and I truly loved it. Someone who has loved those zoomed details of a dilapidated house in Hardy’s or Austen’s details of a dance move must love what Prema Raghavan has tried to do in this short story collection published in 2020, in India, by and Indian author… I admire her detailed writing and also salute her courage. There might be a certain drop in the readership of her work but whoever will read this collection will certainly appreciate what the author has done. She has been successful in capturing the emotions of her protagonists and also highlight some issues that we often face in our lives. Prema has also left the narrator’s bias untouched, perhaps. She has not taken any side in her short stories and put it entirely on the readers – pick the sides you want to associate with. Eve in the Land of Kali may be said a modern-day classic… Indian by all means and traditionally innovative.
Conclusion & Recommendation:
As many might have guessed already by reading the previous three sections, I am going to rate this book with a perfect five. I am very sure that this collection will not only raise the bars for prose-bards but also compel the readers to think, ponder and perhaps hang in a kind of equilibrium that seldom allows tilted postures… Prema Raghavan’s debut fiction publication should win many hearts and it deserves a wide readership among the readers who love reading traditional yet modern fiction. Themes are very relevant. Characters are realistic. Issues are modern and contemporary. And therefore, I request the readers to get a copy as soon as possible and enjoy this collection of short stories as we all wait to end this year which has rarely brought any fruitful or desired outcome for us… for readers, nevertheless, this year might have been a very busy one as we have spent our time reading. Guys, make this collection your final read if you are already wishing to end this year on some wonderful note. Enjoy Eve in the Land of Kali! You can get a copy from Amazon India in Ebook or Paperback format by clicking the link below:
Review by a contributor to Featured Books
Eve in the Land of Kali – Short Story Collection: Review
- Featured Book's Rating
A perfect collection of short stories offering vivid emotions that we often witness around us but ignore… for obvious reasons. Women protagonists and their plight offer us moments of introspection and also, admiration, that we may develop in the course of reading for the characters as well as for the author. MUST READ!