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Gruhabhanga is one of the several highly acclaimed works written by S. L. Bhyrappa. This Kannada novel bears proof of the author’s relentless search for truth and an exploration of women’s place in modern society.
Summary Of The Book
The temporal backdrop of the story is the early 20th century. The novel opens in a rural setting where Nanjamma, a woman who assays the various roles of daughter, wife, daughter-in-law, and mother, is trapped in a suffocating familial situation. She has to put up with her lazy, tobacco addicted husband Chennigaraaya, an overbearing mother-in law Gangamma and an uneducated, superstitious neighborhood in general. Added to all this is the curse of acute poverty.
Despite the apparently hopeless arrangement, Nanjamma shines with inner strength of determination and it is this strong will that drives her to finally overcome her problems. The character of Nanjamma is developed with such care on the part of the author that it becomes easy to understand and sympathize with Nanjamma’s daily trials and tribulations and finally rejoice at her victory.
The situation depicted in Gruhabhanga is essentially a microcosmic depiction of the Indian society at large where individuals and groups have twisted and molded cultural values for their own benefit thereby corrupting the ideal order. People like Nanjamma, become victims of such manipulations of gender and economy.
Gruhabhanga, published in 1970, is counted among the classics in native Indian languages. It has been translated into all the fourteen major languages in India by The National Book Trust. While most of his other novels are made into films, Gruhabhanga was adapted for television.
About S. L. Bhyrappa
S. L. Bhyrappa is considered a forerunner among modern Indian vernacular novelists. His works in Kannada cover a wide spectrum of issues and are hard to classify under any one of the several literary genres in contemporary Kannada literature.
Almost all of his works have been translated into different languages including English and were immensely successful. Among the novels that he wrote are Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane, Nayi Neralu and Daatu. His Vamshavruksha and Mandra had won special accolades. He has been variously honored with the Saraswati Samman, Sahitya Akademi award, Kannada Sahitya Academy award and many more.
Bhyrappa was born in Mysore and had a difficult childhood and youth. However, having braved the several ups and downs of life he went on to become a gold medalist in Philosophy from University of Mysore and earned a doctorate from Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. His debut novel was published in 1961, following which he had four fruitful decades as an author of over twenty novels. He taught Philosophy at Sri Kadasiddheshwar College, Hubli, Sardar Patel University of Gujarat, from where he retired in 1991.
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