Poles Apart on the Same Bed
Twenty-Nine Selected Short Stories
Written by Alexander Raju
Selected and Introduced by S. Subhash Chandran
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About the Author
Here’s a fine selection of Alexander Raju’s stories written over thirty years—ranging between the stories
of a tyro giving expression to his idealistic perspective of the world and the society he lives in and intensely
feels about, and those of a cynical angry man in quarrel with the world and its ways. They are poles apart also
in the sense that the stories do not belong to any particular school: they range from humorous musings on the
stupidity of men and women of his social milieu to harsh diatribes against the many evils rampant in his society.
The most emotionally appealing are the author’s renditions of the plight of the helpless female, sexually
exploited by the male-dominated society. They are particularly poignant since they fictionalize not any feminist
idea, but everyday reality we witness in our quotidian existence. Despite the universality of their themes, these
stories falling under different heads have one binding chord: they relate to the social realities of Kerala, the
south Indian state.
Born on April 1st, 1952, Alexander Raju began his career as a freelance journalist as early as 1974, after
completing his higher studies in the Universities of Kerala and Saugar, Madhya Pradesh. Touring almost every
nook and corner of India, he acquired a firsthand knowledge of the Indian ways of life among various ethnic
groups who differed totally in their culture, religion and language. When Sikkim became the twenty-second
State of India, he joined the staff of Sikkim Express as one of its sub-editors and later became the
editor of Bullet, a newsweekly published from Gangtok. “A decade of my wanderings through the length
and breadth of India and my not too brief sojourn in the Himalayan Valley gave me an everlasting mine of
ideas and a continuous source of inspiration that would last a whole lifespan of a creative writer,” says the author.
Returning to his native state of Kerala, he worked as a lawyer for a short while. In 1981, he joined the Faculty of
English at Baselius College, Kottayam, Kerala, his own alma mater, as a lecturer. During 1996 to 1999, he worked as an
Inspector of English, giving training to English teachers, under the Ministry of Education, Sultanate of Oman. For three
years, from 2006 to 2009, he served as Associate Professor of English in Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia. Currently he is
Professor of English in Al Fateh University, Tripoli, Libya.
Alexander Raju, an Indian English critic, poet, novelist, short story writer and columnist, has many books to his
credit. Ripples and Pebbles (1989), Sprouts of Indignation (2003) and Magic Chasm (2007) are
collections of his poems. His first novel The Haunted Man came out in 1996 and its second edition in 2009.
Upon This Bank and Shoal, a philosophical novel, came out in 2008. The Psycho-Social Interface in British
Fiction (2000) is a critical work. The Voice of Ethiopia and Other Pieces of Literature, an edited work
came out in 2008.
Click here to view Alexander Raju's other books
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