The Great Tamil Escape
Nisha Susan, Tehelka Magazine, Vol 5, Issue 23, Dated June 14, 2008
Charu Nivedita, whose novel Zero Degree has been translated into English by Blaft, has sold over 20,000 pocket novel copies of his book in Tamil. This is a book that Khanna describes as “a thoroughly post-modern novel about a man with a 30-foot penis. He talks about anything from the Rwandan genocide to Kashmir to the Tamil literary scene to Chennai wine shops to Alejandro Maita.” Charu himself says “I think every society needs pulp fiction. I don’t think my work is pulp-fiction but the Tamil literary establishment thinks that if you are popular you are not literary.”
Khanna says, “Many of these writers are delightful nutcases…” K.Arivazhagan, changed his name to Charu Nivedita (for Charu Mazumdar and Sister Nivedita) to mark his shift from a writer of religious works to an agnostic author of highly stylised, radical fiction. Charu’s books may have been serialised by pulp-fiction publishers but he wrote at least one novel sitting in the Park Sheraton.