In a vast country like India, where great regional differences in culture and behaviour obtain, and the various languages retain their exclusive origins and identities, it is not possible to maintain a complete and continuous communication between different parts of the country on a national scale. There cannot be a truly meaningful awareness of the country's total literary activity and output without such intercommunication through the medium of translation. Translations of some of the better known works of Indian literary giants like Tagore, Premchand and others have been successfully undertaken and their writings have been read and enjoyed in all parts of India. There has, however, been no systematic endeavour to take up the important works of each region and present them in a widely understood language.
Fusion books has planned the publication of a series of anthologies of English translations of modern short stories written in the different Indian languages, with the aim of bringing the people of India closer and making Indian literature available in other parts of the word. The task of selecting, editing and translating the stories has been entrusted to competent writers and critics and the series, when complete, will present a full picture of the contemporary short story in India.
This collection of Malayalam short stories represents two or three generations of Malayalam writers. The twenty-one stories included here, cover a wide span of nearly forty years. The oldest of these writers was born about the turn of the century, while the youngest is now in his twenties. For want of space it has not been possible to select the works of all representative writers of the period, but the stories selected will indicate the general trends as well as the highlights of short fiction in Malyalam since 1940. It is to be hoped that subsequent collections of translated stories will complement and improve upon the image of Malayalam literature that is left by this volume on the minds of readers abroad who approach Malayalam literature through English.