Winner of the 2002
QWF Mcauslan First Book Award
Excerpt from title story Blues from the Malabar Coast
My grandmother, Thankamuthasi, got up at four every morning,
bathed in the pond in the dim light and, after a brief visit to the temple, started the fire in the kitchen with dry palm
branches and matches that she kept hidden behind the salt box in one dark corner of the shelf. When she was satisfied with
strength and size of the flames, she hollered to her granddaughters, nieces and grandnieces, urging them to get up or else.
They got up hurriedly, their saris askew and bunched aroung the thighs, taking their time to arrange them. There was no hurry:
there were only women in the main house; the men slept in the tower.