Book Review of Sheela Tomy’s Valli by Shilpa Nataraj
Green Entanglements of Land and Lore
Valli is a debut novel by Sheela Tomy, published in Malayalam in 2019 and translated to English by Jayashree Kalathil in 2022. For this novel, Sheela Tomy was awarded the Cherukad Award for Malayalam Literature in 2020. As rightly put in the dedication page, "For forests ravaged by fires For people rendered voiceless For Languages without scripts", this story is multiscalar. It resonates with Arundathi Roy's famous rendition of one of her works, "To the Unconsoled." Valli is a story of a land and its people whose essence lures outsiders and ignites a revolution of minds. Set in the hilly region called 'Wayanad' in the South Indian state of Kerala, the story brings out place-specificity as one of the key features in accentuating the historical, socio-political, cultural and environmental disparity and justice through the characters' lives which spans across three generations.
2. Wyse, Lowel. "Ecospatiality." University of Iowa Press, Iowa City. 2021. Ebook.
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