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Biography of Kamala Markandaya


Birthname: Kamala Markandaya

Nationality: Indian

Biography of Kamala Markandaya:

1924 – Kamala Markandaya, born in Kamala Purnaiya in Mysore. Kamala Markandaya was a pseudonym used by Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, an Indian novelist and journalist.

1948 – Kamala Markandaya graduated in history from the University of Madras and, after a brief stint in journalism, migrated to England. 1955 – Her first published novel, Nectar in a Sieve, was a bestseller and named a notable book by the American Library Association.

1965 – 1983 – Some Inner Fury, A Silence of Desire, Possession, A Handful of Rice, The Nowhere Man, Two Virgins, The Golden Honeycomb, and Pleasure City. 2004 – Died on the 16th of May in London, England due to Kidney failure.


Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, who often wrote under the name Kamala Markandaya was born in Bangalore India in 1924, and died in England in May 2004. Her family was Brahman, the highest caste in Hindu society. Markandaya made an effort to know not just the city in which she lived but also the rural areas. She was educated at the University of Madras in Chennai, India, and worked briefly for a weekly newspaper before emigrating to England in 1948. There she met her husband, with whom she lived in London. They had one daughter.


Kamala Markandaya (1924 – May 16, 2004) was a pseudonym used by Kamala Purnaiya Taylor, an Indian novelist and journalist. A native of Mysore, India, Markandaya was a graduate of Madras University, and afterwards published several short stories in Indian newspapers. After India declared its independence, Markandaya moved to Britain, though she still labeled herself an Indian expatriate long afterwards.

Known for writing about culture clash between Indian urban and rural societies, Markandaya’s first published novel, Nectar in a Sieve, was a bestseller and named a notable book of 1955 by the American Library Association. Other novels include Some Inner Fury (1955), A Silence of Desire (1960), Possession (1963), A Handful of Rice (1966), The Nowhere Man (1972), Two Virgins (1973), The Golden Honeycomb (1977), and Pleasure City (1982/1983).

Kamala Markandaya belonged to that pioneering group of Indian women writers who made their mark not just through their subject matter, but also through their fluid, polished literary style. “Nectar in a Sieve” was her first published work, and its depiction of rural India and the suffering of farmers made it popular in the West. This was followed by other fiction that dramatized the Quit India movement in 1942, the clash between East and West and the tragedy that resulted from it, or the problems facing ordinary middle-class Indians—making a living, finding inner peace, coping with modern technology and its effects on the poor.

Markandaya died in London on May 16, 2004.


 BibliographyThe Nowhere Man 1972

The Coffee Dams 1969

A Handful of Rice 1966

Possession; a novel 1963

A Silence of Desire 1960

Some Inner Fury 1956

Nectar in a Sieve 1955

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