Book Talk


KR Meera

Marcie Newman

Rohini Rajagopalan


August 20th 2023.

Assassin – K. R. Meera

K. R. Meera in conversation with Marcie Newman and Rohini Rajagopal on her new novel “Assassin”


From the award-winning author of Hangwoman.

Late one night in November 2016, Satyapriya, a middle-aged professional living alone in a big city, is attacked by an unidentified assailant. Though she escapes unhurt, a conversation with her paralysed father reveals that this was no random incident but the latest in a series of attempts to kill her. And when he dies unexpectedly soon after, a devastated Satyapriya sets out to unravel the conspiracy coiling around her.

Beginning at the height of India’s demonetization drive and culminating on the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, this is a novel that raises uncomfortable questions of identity and gender in a country where power, patriarchy, caste and money conspire every day to shape the contours of women’s lives.

K.R. Meera’s Assassin – originally published in Malayalam as Ghathakan, and brilliantly translated by J. Devika – is a genre-defying magnum opus that every Indian must read.

Read more in The Hindu

K.R. Meera is the author of five novels, six novellas, six collections of short fiction, two novels for children, and two collections of essays in Malayalam. She has been the recipient of numerous literary prizes, such as the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (for best novel and best short fiction), the Vayalar Award and the Odakkuzhal Award. A number of her works have been translated into English; they include, Jezebel, Hangwoman, The Poison of Love, The Unseeing Idol of Light, Yellow Is the Colour of Longing, The Gospel of Yudas, Qabar and The Angel’s Beauty Spots. Hangwoman, J. Devika’s translation of the author’s Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award-winning novel Aarachaar, was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2016.

J. Devika is a feminist historian, social researcher and translator currently with the Centre for Development Studies, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. She translates literary writing from Malayalam to English and social science writing from English to Malayalam. Her literary translations include works by, among others, K.R. Meera, Sarah Joseph, Unni R., Ambikasutan Mangad and Lalithambika Antharjanam. Her website contains a collection of translations of the writings of twentieth-century Malayali feminists.