An old man is watching the sun set over his village one quiet evening when a mysterious stranger turns up with the gift of a day-old goat kid. Thus begins the story of Poonachi, the little black goat whose fragility and fecundity become cause for wonderment to the humans around her.
From the eagle that swoops down on her to the wildcat that attempts to snatch her away within days of her arrival, the old man and his wife struggle to keep their tiny miracle alive. Before they know it, Poonachi has become the centre of their meagre world and the old woman and she are inseparable.
Life is not easy for any of them-farmers, goatherds or goats. The rains play truant, the gods claim their sacrifices, and the forest waits to lure unwary creatures into its embrace. Through it all, Poonachi watches and silently questions the ways of the humans who alternately protect and wound her.
Wrought by the imagination of a skilful storyteller, this delicate yet complex story of the animal world is about life and death and all that breathes in between. It is also a commentary on our times, on the unequal hierarchies of class and colour, and the increasing vulnerability of individuals who choose to speak up rather than submit to the vagaries of an ambitious if incompetent state.
About the Author:
Perumal Murugan is the author of six novels, four collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry in Tamil. Three of his novels have been translated into English: Seasons of the Palm, which was shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize in 2005, Current Show and One Part Woman. He was a professor of Tamil at the Government Arts College in Namakkal before taking to writing full-time.