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Sarah Joseph (author)

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Title: Sarah Joseph (author)  
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Subject: Kuriachira, List of people from Thrissur, Olappamanna, N. V. Krishna Warrier, Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri
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Sarah Joseph (author)

Sarah Joseph
Sarah Joseph
Occupation Writer,feminist
Genre Novel, short story, essay
Literary movement Feminist literature
Notable works Aalahayude Penmakkal, Puthuramayanam, Oduvilathe Suryakanthi

Sarah Joseph (born 1946) is a novelist and short story writer in [1][3] She and Madhavikutty are considered among the leading women writers in Malayalam.[4] She has recently joined the Aam Aadmi Party and is contesting the 2014 Lok Sabha elections from Thrissur.

Early and personal life

Sarah Joseph was born into a conservative Christian family at Kuriachira in Thrissur city in 1946 to Louis and Kochumariam.[1][4] She attended the teacher's training course and began her professional career as a school teacher. Later, she received her M.A. in Malayalam and joined the collegiate service in Kerala. She served as a Professor of Malayalam at Sanskrit College, Pattambi. She has since retired from government service and lives at Mulamkunnathukavu in Thrissur district.

Sarah Joseph is also a well-known social activist and was at the forefront of several agitations in Kerala. She was an ardent left-sympathiser[5] but joined the Aam Aadmi Party in January 2014[6] and has been fielded by the party as a candidate from the Thrissur Lok Sabha constituency in the 2014 parliament elections.[7]

Literary career

Sarah Joseph's literary career began very early, when she was in high school. Many of her poems appeared in Malayalam weeklies. She was also good at reciting her poems at poets' meets which was much appreciated by poets like Vyloppilli Sreedhara Menon and Edasseri Govindan Nair.[1] After a short period of uncertainty she took to fiction and began writing short stories. Her collection of short stories Paapathara is considered a milestone in feminist writing in Malayalam.[3]

She has published a trilogy of novels which includes Aalahayude Penmakkal, Mattathi, and Othappu. Her works are essentially liberalistic and convey the sentiments of various oppressed groups.[8] The novel Othappu is about a woman's yearning for a true understanding of spirituality and her own sexuality.[9] Othappu has been translated into English by Valson Thampu under the title "Othappu: The Scent of the Other Side".[10][11] Her novel Aalahayude Penmakkal won her three major awards – the Kerala Sahitya Academy Award, the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Vayalar Award.[2] In 2011, Sarah won the Muttathu Varkey Award for her collection of short stories titled Papathara.[12]

She has won much critical acclaim for her Ramayana Kathakal, a subversive reading of the Ramayana. An English translation of this work has been published by the Oxford University Press.[13][14][15]

Selected works

Short stories
  • Manassile Thee Matram (1973)
  • Kadinte Sangeetham (1975, anthology of short stories)
  • Paapathara
  • Oduvilathe Suryakanthi
  • Nilavu Nirayunnu
  • Puthuramayanam
  • Kaadithu Kandaayo Kaanthaa
  • Nanmathinmakalude Vriksham (anthology of short stories)


  1. ^ a b c d Panjikaran, Mariamma. "Sarah Joseph – A writer of women, for women".  
  2. ^ a b "Sarah Joseph bags Vayalar Award". Chennai, India:  
  3. ^ a b "Women's Writing – Sarah Joseph". Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  4. ^ a b  
  5. ^ "Kerala opens up to AAP, writer-activist Sara Joseph to join Arvind Kejriwal". India Today. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  6. ^ "Sara Joseph joins AAP". The Hindu. 13 January 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  7. ^ "AAP fields author Sara Joseph against Chacko". The Hindu. 2 March 2014. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  8. ^ "Novel and Short Story to the Present Day". Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  9. ^ "Othappu : The Scent of the Other Side". Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  10. ^ "Wages of freedom". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 6 September 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  11. ^ "Veiled passions: 'Othappu' by Sarah Joseph and 'Amen' by Sister Jesme". Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  12. ^ "Sarah Joseph wins Muttathu Varkey Award".  
  13. ^ "Retelling the Ramayana". Chennai, India:  
  14. ^ Smith, Bonnie G. (2008). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History: Kaffka 3.  
  15. ^ "Bridging cultures". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 14 March 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  16. ^ K. Santhosh (4 July 2011). "Water of love seeps through".  
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