Bama (born ), also known as Bama Faustina Soosairaj, is a Tamil, Dalit feminist, committed teacher and novelist. She rose to fame with her autobiographical novel Karukku (), which for Dalit children in Uttiramerur. Bama’s Karukku has been translated to English and Kusumbukkaran and Sangati to French. Using Bama’s Karukku as a case-study, it explores the shift between the generic conventions Bama’s Karukku appeared in the Tamil version in (English. Karukku is the English translation of Bama’s seminal autobiography, which tells the story of a Dalit woman who left her convent to escape from the caste.

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Nick O’C rated it really liked it Feb 04, Bama is the pen name of a Dalit Christian, a former nun who decided to renounce her habit and come out of the convent to fight for the rights of her community when she realised that in India, even the hallowed halls of the Roman Catholic church was contaminated with karukiu poison of caste. But most of the book feels like one big rant on social injustices with barely any mention of any extraordinary acts, either by her or the people around her.

Can’t stop thinking about the strength of her writing. She has been in the forefront of caste literature activism and has given Dalit aesthetics tremendous visibility on the literary campus of India. I appreciated her honesty and truly felt attracted to her writing. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Karukku by Bama

The power of her narrative is in that she bamma the question of how women, Dalits, and in particular Dalit women will ever live in an easier world, unanswered. Later, Bama describes her adult life, how she became a nun, and later left the order when she witnessed the hypocrisy of the Church in its attitude towards the poor and the Dalits.


She writes of life there in all its vibrancy and colour, never making it seem like a place defined by a singular caste identity, yet a place that never forgets, and is never allowed to forget its caste identity.

The first autobiography by a Dalit woman writer and a classic of subaltern writing, it is a bold and poignant tale of life outside mainstream Indian thought and function. I owe it to Bama and her book for this simple realisation which has dawned in me. We must crush all these institutions that use caste to bully us into submission, and demonstrate that among human beings there are none who are high or low.

Revolving around the main theme of caste oppression within the Catholic Church, it portrays the tension between the self and the community, and presents Bama’s life as a process of self-reflection and recovery from social and institutional betrayal.

Bama focuses on two aspects, religion and caste to throw jn on the oppression Dalits face. To tell the truth, this caste consciousness among Christians is quite common.

Want to Read saving…. I really enjoyed Bama’s writing. Karukku is an wonderful novel which I read with my whole heart…………Want to meet the writer Bama at least once in my life time…………. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Apr 06, Amrita rated it it was amazing. In her introduction, translator Lakshmi Holmstrom says Karukku means palmyra leaves, that, with their serrated edges on both sides, are like double-edged swords.


‘Karukku’: An Autobiography By Bama Exploring Her Tamil, Dalit And Christian Identity

It efficiently conveys the inner trauma of her being, her state of mind, feelings, and emotions. A Life Peter Horton.

The book chronicles the author’s journey from her childhood to the present, under the constant discrimination of being Dalit, and a woman and one who left a convent. The same oppression that Bama faced outside, she faced in school and college, making it all even harder to pursue an education she could barely afford and that she had to fight hard for as a woman.

She does not describe events only in terms of the impact they had on her later life, but writes of the experiences she had as moments of oppression that composed her daily lived reality. Visit our Help Bzma.

Bama (writer) – Wikipedia

This is what drew me to Karukku and this is why the book will stay with me. Bama’s novels focus on caste and gender discrimination. But even with education and jobs, she never makes any contact with other Dalit activists, striving on her own to fulfill her desire of doing something for her community.

Cashback will be credited as Amazon Pay balance within 10 days. This book is about her journey spanning over many years of hardship, when she finally realised why it was so. I cannot believe it got translated. Karukku is one of the first autobiographies of a Dalit woman written in Tamil.