A Quest for Life- The Angel's Beauty Spots by K.R. Meera

About the Book

In these three stunningly original, lush and provocative novellas, award-winning writer K. R. Meera explores the tragedy, betrayal and violence that rise out of the dark heart of love.

The Angel’s Beauty Spots’ is a disquieting story about Angela’s repeated infidelities and the trauma of failed love; in ‘And Forgetting the Tree, I…’ Radhika tries to come to terms with a former love that refuses to leave her; and ‘The Deepest Blue’ uses magic and metaphor to tell the story of a wife who yearns for a love that transcends lifetimes.

Esteemed as one of the country’s finest storytellers, K. R. Meera’s The Angel’s Beauty Spots: Three Novellas will serve to embellish her already considerable reputation as a writer of strikingly original fiction. These novellas have been translated from the Malayalam by J. Devika.

About the Author

K. R. MEERA is an award-winning Malayalam writer. Her first short-story collection, Ormayude Njarambu, was followed by more short-story collections, novellas, novels and children’s books. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015 for her most famous novel, Aarachaar (Hangwoman). It was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, 2016, and won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013, as well as other regional awards. Before she became a full-time writer, K. R. Meera worked as a journalist for the Malayala Manorama.

With lines akin to poetry, these stories by K R Meera are stellar. The three stories make an extremely compelling and quick read in this book aptly titled 'The Angel's Beauty Spots'.

Angela was killed in front of her children. Her husband was the killer. He thrust the knife deep into her fair-skinned, well-rounded belly again and again. She writhed like a snake, her hair stood on end. Her blood hissed and splattered everywhere. Her sweat streamed. Her eyes bulged. The light in them dimmed. She grew still and silent. She fell into eternal sleep. 
As the blurb clearly states, the stories have three strong women as the primary characters. Their stories are strong, poignant and at the same time, thought-provoking. The characters are highly relatable, with a strong visual appeal to them, thanks to the detailed descriptions in the story. Their character sketches are raw and startling, to an extent that they manage to surprise the reader with their actions and reactions despite giving a feel of familiarity.

Translated from Malayalam by J Devika, the writing is rich, layered with textures of emotions along with brilliant imagery. The book with its powerful story telling, hangs heavy on the heart and mind, long after you are done reading with it.

Though this is my first book of K.R. Meera, I can vouch for the fact, that her writing is infectious. It makes you crave for more. It is impactful as it has the power to alter your mood or state of mind. And at the same time, it is addictive. After reading one book of hers, you want to read all the other books she has ever written. Her stories have a huge dose of reality in them, making them clearly a part of the world around us. She doesn't shy away from depicting the harsh reality of the world, where women are constantly striving to make themselves seen, heard, wanted, cared for and loved. It is this struggle that makes these stories all the more engaging for its raw beauty is hard to ignore.

The three women in these stories do seem lost, but weirdly enough they know what they want and how to get it in life. Their feeling of lost comes from the daze they have been accustomed to living in. The thin like of reality and imaginative spells where you want to do things, you would have otherwise never imagined, is overlapping in these stories. Covering various themes of love, longing and lust, the storylines might seem ordinary but make no mistake. They are far from being ordinary . They are feisty, wild and crazy. It is this feistiness which makes them extra-ordinary. There is a certain tenderness in the narrative, which makes even violence and rape seem moving for a reader. 

I would like to add here, the translator has done a commendable job in this book ensuring every story is pieced together with the most perfect words while keeping the prose intact. There is not a single word or phrase which seems out of place or lost in translation.  

This collection is strongly recommended, for it made me fall in love with K. R Meera and am looking forward to exploring more works of her. She, comes across as a fearless author, who explores human emotions like none another in her writing and presents them in a manner that a writer is left completely overwhelmed.