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The Love Queen of Malabar by Merrily Weisbord

Finalist for The Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction in 2011


Kamala Das (1934-2009) is one of India’s most beloved and controversial literary figures. She was hailed and reviled as the first Indian woman to write an autobiographical cult classic about love and desire. Admirers dubbed her, “The First Feminist Emotional Revolutionary of Our Time.” The tabloid press called her “The Love Queen of Malabar.”

Merrily Weisbord found Das’s work so compelling that she flew to South India to meet her. The Love Queen of Malabar is the story of their decade-long friendship, an experiment in mutual revelation. Recounting the development of their relationship, Weisbord relates the dramatic events of Das’s life, including her transition from celibacy to sexual awakening at age sixty-seven when, provoking the greatest scandal of her notorious life, she converted to Islam for love and renewal.

Shortlisted for 2010 Writer’s Trust Award for Non-Fiction and 2011 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction

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McGill-Queen's University Press