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Kamala Das (1934–2009)

Author of My Story

Includes the names: Kamala Das, Madhavikkutty, Kamalā Sur̲ayya

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The Penguin Book of Women Poets (Contributor) 268 copies
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Kamala Suraiyya (b. Kamala Madhavikutty) (Malayalam കമലാ സുരയ്യ / മാധവിക്കുട്ടി) (31 March 1934 – 31 May 2009) was a major Indian English poet and literateur and at the same time a leading Malayalam author from Kerala state, South India. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the fiery poems and explicit autobiography.

Her open and honest treatment of female sexuality, free from any sense of guilt, infused her writing with power, but also marked her as an iconoclast in her generation.[1] On 31 May 2009, aged 75, she died at a hospital in Pune,[2] but has earned considerable respect in recent years.


1964: The Sirens (Asian Poetry Prize winner)
1965: Summer in Calcutta (poetry; Kent's Award winner)
1967: The Descendants (poetry)
1973: The Old Playhouse and Other Poems (poetry)
1976: My Story (autobiography)
1977: Alphabet of Lust (novel)
1985: The Anamalai Poems (poetry)
1992: Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories (collection of short stories)
1996: Only the Soul Knows How to Sing (poetry)
2001: Yaa Allah (collection of poems)
1979: Tonight,This Savage Rite (with Pritish Nandy)
1999: My Mother At Sixty-six (Poem)
Disambiguation notice

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