Meena Kandasamy is an anti-caste activist, poet, novelist and translator. Activism is at the heart of her literary work; she has translated several political texts from Tamil to English, and previously held an editorial role at The Dalit, an alternative magazine. Her op-eds and essays have appeared in The White Review, Guernica, Guardian and the New York Times, among others.
Her writing aims to deconstruct trauma and violence, while spotlighting the militant resistance against caste, gender and ethnic oppressions. She explores this in her poetry and prose, most notably in her books of poems such as Touch (2006) and Ms. Militancy (Navayana Publishers, 2010) as well as her three novels, The Gypsy Goddess (2014), When I Hit You (2017) and Exquisite Cadavers (Atlantic, 2019). Her latest work is a collection of essays, The Orders Were to Rape You: Tamil Tigresses in the Eelam Struggle (Navayana Publishing, 2021).
Her novels have been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Hindu Lit Prize.
She has been a fellow of the University of Iowa's International Writing Program (2009), a Charles Wallace India Trust Fellow at the University of Kent (2011) and is presently a fellow of the Berlin-based Junge Akademie of the Akademie der Kunst.
She holds a PhD in sociolinguistics from Anna University, Chennai.
March Meeting 2022