About the Featured Author

Salma (aka Raasathi A. Rokiah)

photo of SalmaA Tamil Muslim born in 1968, Salma studied up to the ninth standard and started writing seriously when she reached age 17. She is currently head of the village council of Thuvarankurichi (near Trichy, Tamilnadu, India). So far she has published two volumes of poetry and one novel. Her novel Late Night Story (2004), which is currently being translated into English by the well-known translator Lakshmi Holmström, is the first novel by a Tamil Muslim woman after Siddhi Junaida Begum’s Love or Duty published in 1938. Selections from Salma’s poetry volumes One Evening, Another Evening (2000) and The Green Deity (2003) are currently being translated into English by Sascha Ebeling.

book jacketSalma’s poetry participates in the larger project of young Tamil female poets to resist patriarchy and to explore themes such as desire and sexuality in their creative work. In 2003, Salma and three other women poets were publicly accused of obscenity by male Tamil film lyricists, and received threats of death and violence. This controversy inspired the filmmakers Anjali Monteiro and K.P. Jayasankar to make SheWrite (2005), a documentary film on the creative universe of Tamil women poets.

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