Black Coffee in a Coconut Shell: Caste as Lived Experience


Editor: Perumal Murugan
Translated by C S Lakshmi

9789352804979 | PB | pp. 252 | 2018 | SAGE, YODA Press

In this book 32 voices narrate how from childhood to adulthood, caste intruded upon their lives – food, clothes, gait, marriage, games, love and even death.

Ships in 2-4 days

Sorry this product is not available for sale outside India.

Spread the love


Caste, as it is experienced in everyday life, is the pièce de résistance of this book. Thirty-two voices narrate how from childhood to adulthood, caste intruded upon their lives—food, clothes, games, gait, love, marriage and every aspect of one’s existence including death. Like the editor Perumal Murugan says, caste is like god, it is omnipresent.

The contributors write about the myriad ways in which they have experienced caste. It may be in the form of forgoing certain kinds of food, or eating food at secluded corners of a household, or drinking tea out of a crushed plastic cup, or drinking black coffee in a coconut shell or water poured from above into a cupped hand. Such experiences may also take the form of forbidden streets, friends disapproved of and love denied. And when one leaves behind the fear of caste while living one’s life, there is still death to deal with.

Additional information


Perumal Murugan
Translator: C S Lakshmi









Year of Publication:






Country of Origin:


About the Contributors

Perumal Murugan has a doctorate degree in Tamil. He is a professor in Presidency College, Chennai. He has published poems, short stories, novels and essays. He is interested in publishing and in lexicography research.

Dr C. S. Lakshmi has been an independent researcher in Women’s Studies for the last 35 years. She has a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and has worked as a Research Officer in the Indian Council of Historical Research and has also been a college lecturer in Delhi for two years. She received the Ford Foundation Fellowship to work on a project entitled Illustrated Social History of Women in Tamil Nadu in 1981 and in 1992 she received the Homi Bhabha Fellowship to do a project on women musicians, dancers and painters. This research work has been brought out in two volumes by Kali for Women. She is also a renowned author of Tamil literary fiction under the pseudonym Ambai.


This book will be shipped in 2 days. The time taken for you to receive it will depend upon the mode you choose, while completing your purchase. The rates applicable for each mode are different. You will be informed after the order is shipped. Shipping costs depend on the mode chosen, the weight of the item, and the distance it will travel to reach its destination. Shipping costs will be charged depending on the weight of the entire purchase (if more than one item is purchased). The same shipping mode will apply to all products in such a case.

Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.