Mad scientists, hard-boiled detectives, sensuous starlets, murderous robots, vengeful goddesses, saucy heroines—these are some of the staples of Tamil pulp fiction, a wonderfully vibrant genre of popular literature. Accessibly priced, and with
irresistibly lurid covers, Tamil pulp fiction titles have a huge and avid readership, and sell briskly at tea stalls and railway platforms. The collection in this anthology, translated into English for the first time, is a superb introduction to the genre. Read the two stories in our extract—Hurricane Vaij
by Subha, and Idhaya 2020
by Rajesh Kumar—and you too will surely be hooked.
his book is an attempt to claim the status of "literature" for a huge body of writing that has rarely if ever made it into an academic library, despite having been produced for nearly a century. While a good deal of Tamil fiction has been rendered in English, it has primarily been members of the literati who have enjoyed this distinction. Even the recent translations of more...