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Pearls and Pebbles : Collection of Essays

Neela Padmanabhan, Reliance, 2004, x, 157 p, ISBN : 8175101768, $15.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

Pearls and Pebbles : Collection of Essays/Neela Padmanabhan

Contents: Introduction. 1. Persistence of classical and religious tradition in Asian literature; family, self and world in Asian literary tradition. 2. The first novels in India. 3. Forms, genres and trends of South Indian short stories. 4. The vision and design of historical fiction with reference to Tamil. 5. Tamil fiction today. 6. Modern trends in Tamil novels. 7. Modern Tamil drama. 8. Social change and post-independence novel in South Indian languages. 9. Malayalam in the context of Tamil literature. 10. Tamil and Malayalam fiction after 1947 - a contrasting study. 11. Thyaga Bhoomi (Holy Land). 12. Oru Kadalora Gramathin Kathai (The story of a Sea Shore village). 13. Modern Tamil literature. 14. A bibliography of Tamil poems. 15. Common cultural roots of the 7 SAARC countries -- lying inter-twined in the Folklore and Folksongs of the region. 16. The voice of the South Asia in contemporary world literature with special emphasis on fiction and poetry. 17. Life and literature. 18. Neela Padmanabhan by R.K. Murthi. 19. Neela Padmanabhan in conversation with Nakulan. 20. Neela Padmanabhan. 21. Biodata of Neela Padmanabhan. 22. Books by Neela Padmanabhan.

"This slim volume is a collection of Neela Padmanabhan's writings. The range of his writings is wide. The themes he covers are immensely diverse. He casts the net wide and captures the essence of wisdom gleaned by him during the last fifty years of literary experience.

He had suffered privations quietly, held his head high even when friends turned to enemies when they could not stand his success both in his profession and also with the pen. Some of them cast doubts on his commitment to his job as an engineer, scoffed at him saying his heart was not in his profession, but in literature. They sniped, "He gets the best of both worlds. He gets his salary; and he spends all the time spinning words, making more money." As if money matters to the creative mind.

The essays reflect the sensitivity of a spirit that carries the cross. There is deep anguish in his heart. This anguish helps him strike out in defence of the man on the street, to advocate high moral values that alone shall make man realize his true worth. These essays are though provoking. They sparkle. They have a rare sheen. Read them and vibe with one of the leading living stars of modern Tamil literature."

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