Review Extract

The story “Genesis” which bestows its title to the collection, is more focused on the process of writing and addresses the question, “What exactly is a story?” As if by an inspirational insight, the writer and the reader are allowed into a meaning of the skeletal “real” hidden beneath the surface of the story…I am convinced that writers begin with an experience, an image or an idea, which inhabits the silent processes of the thinking mind and it is only in the process of writing through the choice or words, that the idea comes to life. Even the sequence falls between the “already thought” and spontaneity, for my now some hidden power takes over from the author, compelling it to follow its own internal logic.

Kannan is not only a translator of her own work, she is a bilingual writer, writing frequently in English directly. Bilingualism, in Lakshmi’s own words, ‘brings you up to a bewildering fork that calls for a choice of one language over another.’ In a private conversation, she accounts for the use of Tamil as “an emotional choice” and describes the dominantly Tamil phase of writing as a period ‘when I discovered the creative potential of Tamil as a language, its seductive charms, its infinite creative possibilities and that certain “moisture” it bestows on a work. The language took me closer to people who spoke, wrote, and fought in Tamil, who loved and swore in Tamil.’

Jasbir Jain, in her Introduction to Genesis: Select Stories