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Kamala Suraiya, better known as Kamala Das, is a well-known female Indian writer writing in English as well as Malayalam, her native language. She is considered one of the outstanding Indian poets writing in English, although her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography. Much of her writing in Malayalam came under the pen name Madhavikkutty. She was born on March 31, 1934 in Malabar in Kerala, India. She is the daughter of V.M. Nair, a former managing editor of the widely-circulated Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, and Nalappatt Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poetess. In 1984, she was short-listed for the Nobel Prize for Literature along with Marguerite Yourcenar, Doris Lessing, and Nadine Gordimer. Kamala Das is probably the first Hindu woman to openly and honestly talk about sexual desires of Indian woman, which made her an iconoclast of her generation. The fact that the book has run into thirty editions is proof enough to appreciate the popularity of the book.
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