Sociology Through Literature : A Study of Kaaroor's Stories book cover
1st Edition

Sociology Through Literature
A Study of Kaaroor's Stories

ISBN 9780367144180
Published July 9, 2019 by Routledge India
242 Pages

SAVE ~ $32.00
was $160.00
USD $128.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

This book presents a comprehensive study of nearly 100 of Kaaroor’s short stories. Kaaroor Neelakanta Pillai is one among the Big Six of the ‘new wave’ in Malayalam literature which began in the mid-1940s. The Big Six and their immediate followers wrote about the common man, peasants, pavement-dwellers, fishermen, rickshaw-pullers, underpaid school teachers — their lives, aspirations and vulnerabilities. By treating Kaaroor’s stories as case studies, the book takes a sociological approach to understanding the representation of a wide array of themes: romantic overtones, erotic pursuits, marital episodes, issues of family, lives of children, behavioural patterns, shades of greed, the idea of spirituality and politics in Malayalam literature.

With its annotated transcreation and detailed commentary, this book brings Kaaroor’s works to the general reader, and will be useful to scholars and researchers of South Asian literature, English literature, linguistics, cultural studies, besides those interested in Malayalam literature and the Malayali/Indian diaspora across the world.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Shubha Mudgal and Aneesh Pradhan


1. Introductory Notes on the ‘Big Six’

2. Romantic Overtones

3 Erotic Pursuits

4. Marital Episodes

5. On Small Children and Teenagers

6. Families: Sinking, Troubled

7. ‘Sir’ Stories

8. Sirs: The Other Side

9. Dictates of Fate

10. Behavioural Patterns

11. Some Social Issues

12. Political Themes

13. Shades of Greed

14. Profiles of the Poor

15. Some Uncommon People

16. Social Dropouts

17. Spiritual Themes

18. Some More Episodes

19. Tuskers and Mahouts

20. Kaaroor’s Zoo

21. Sociology Through Literature: Some Endnotes



View More



S. Devadas Pillai is a research sociologist and was previously affiliated with the University of Mumbai, India for 15 years as Senior Research Officer and Deputy Director. Subsequently, he was with Amsterdam University on a WOTRO-ZWO fellowship, followed by visits related to two major Indo-Dutch research projects. For 30 years, he has been the Executive Editor of an encyclopedia project on performing arts. He completed his MA and PhD at the Department of Sociology, University of Mumbai, and is the author/editor of over ten books, including Rajahs and Prajas: A Princely State, Then and Now (1976); Slums and Urbanization (1991, 2nd edn); and Indian Sociology Through Ghurye: A Dictionary (2011).


‘Kaaroor Neelakanta Pillai was one of the finest short story writers in Malayalam with a style and craft that has remained unique till date. The characters in all stories had been drawn from the local milieu which gave them a flavour typical of the locale in which they were set . . . Devadas Pillai’s work captures the essence of Kaaroor through around 100 of his short stories and conveys him well to the English reader.’

M. K. Das, former Editor, The Indian Express, Kerala edition

‘The author has very well succeeded in bringing Karoor’s several short stories to life by providing the direct and immediate societal context of the several main principal persons and others. He shows how narratives can be transformed into sociological micro-essays. Such essays are widely understood and transcend cultural boundaries. His language is precise and clear, and his words are carefully chosen.’

Hans Schenk, senior sociologist and author, formerly at Amsterdam University