Suchitra Ramachandran is the author of the novel ‘The Abyss’. It’s a translation of the Tamil novel ‘Ezham Ulagam’ Written by Jeyamohan.
In this conversation, she spoke about her literary influences, the book, and the translation effort.
She has published a limited-edition volume of illustrated English translations of Tamil Sangam-era poems (Kuruntokai—Love, Loss, Landscapes, Mulligatawny Books, Chennai, 2016). Suchitra has a doctoral degree in biological sciences from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA, and is currently a post-doctoral neuroscientist based in Basel, Switzerland.
‘The Abyss’ – Synopsis
Pothivelu Pandaram is known as a successful and God-fearing man in town – he has a loyal wife, three daughters, and ample money to pay for their dowries. However, it is an open secret that his success is fuelled by a tawdry yet deeply profitable trade – for he owns a group of physically deformed beggars and places them outside various temples to make money for him. The beggars are mere ‘items’ to Pandaram, hardly human, to be bought and sold like cattle. But when the novel descends right into their world –the world of the ‘abyss’ – and places the reader in their midst, it takes on a marvelous, unexpected turn.
Bitter, black, raw, and yet laced with humor and tenderness, The Abyss (Ezhaam Ulagam) is one of the most acclaimed works of the great Tamil writer Jeyamohan.’
‘The Abyss’ can be purchased at