Author: Perumal Murugan
Release Date: July 20, 2020
Late at night, Kumarasurar’sphone rings shrilly. His teenage son is calling. What could he want?
A seemingly simple demand torments Kumarasurar, who fears it might put his finances—and perhaps his son’s life—in jeopardy. As a father’s anxieties unravel, his memories undermine his self-worth and imaginary scenes of damnation taunt him.
Estuary brings alive the different ways—absurd and endearing by turns—in which a man and his young son navigate the contemporary world. In the process, it peels back the layers of Kumarasurar’s loneliness: the hurt of a married man whose wife cares only for the happiness of their child, the endless monotony of an office job, and the struggle of the salaried middle-class to give their children the best chance of success.
Perumal Murugan’s latest novel, his first in an urban setting, is also a razor-sharp parody of everything from e-commerce to the fitness industry, art appreciation to political manipulation, cram schools to social networks. Through a meditative exploration of a father’s emotional landscape, Murugan tells of a world wrecked by unchecked consumerism and an obsession with growth, where technology overrides common sense and degrees don’t guarantee education. And, with characteristic tenderness, he also weaves in a way to redemption.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
PERUMAL MURUGAN is the author of eleven novels, five collections of short stories and five anthologies of poetry in Tamil. Three of his novels translated into English—Poonachi: Or the Story of a Black Goat, Trial by Silence and A Lonely Harvest—were shortlisted for the JCB Prize for Literature in 2018 and 2019.
His other novels translated into English include Seasons of the Palm, shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Pyre, Current Show and One Part Woman.
Murugan is now the principal at the Government Arts College in Namakkal.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR:
NANDINI KRISHNAN lives in Madras with assorted four-legged and two-legged beings. She is the author of Hitched: The Modern Indian Woman and Arranged Marriage (2013) and Invisible Men: Inside India’s Transmasculine Networks (2018).
This is her first translation from Tamil.