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The two Malayalam novels discussed in this paper tell tales of women’s transgressions. It is a transgression of a sexual nature that forms the theme of Kamala Das’ The Sandal Trees and Sara Joseph’s The Scent of the Other Side; in the case of the latter, the violation strikes at the very core of the Roman Catholic religion as it is practised in Kerala. In both the Malayalam novels, the transgressions that challenge and resist the power structures in society, be they of caste, religion, marriage or gender, provoke strong reactions from the dominant power groups who seek to oppress and subdue the violators and to reinforce the norms of orthodoxy. This study primarily attempts to put in perspective the mapping of Kerala in fiction, with reference to the gender question.
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