Viramma tells her fascinating life story with the unsentimentality, humor and dramatic sense of a born storyteller: her carefree childhood; her marriage before puberty; giving birth to twelve children ‘very gently, like stroking a rose’; adult life as an agricultural worker ‘condemned to bake in the sun’; tales of gods and malign forces, like Irsi Katteri ‘the foetus-eater’, who cast their shadow over her daily life.
Told over ten years to Josiane and Jean-Luc Racine, this is an intensely personal and moving self-portrait, informed by a sense of profound social change in contemporary India. To emancipationists Viramma is a Dalit, one of the oppressed; to Gandhians she is a Harijan, a daughter of God; in her village she is still treated as an Untouchable, a Pariah. In this remarkable book she reveals the world of an extraordinary woman living at the very margins of Indian society.
“...a staggering book.”