First published in 1956 Chemmeen tells the story of the relationship between Karutthamma a Hindu woman from the fisherfolk community and Pareekkutty the son of a Muslim fish wholesaler. Unable to live with the man she loves Karutthamma marries Palani who despite the scandal about his wife's past never stops trusting her a trust that is reaffirmed each time he goes to sea and comes back safe since the 'sea-mother' myth among the fishermen community goes that the safe return of a fisherman depends on the fidelity of his wife. Then one night Karutthamma and Pareekkutty meet and their love is rekindled while Palani is at sea baiting a shark ... The hugely successful novel was adapted into a film of the same name and won critical acclaim and commercial success. Anita Nair's evocative translation brings this classic of Indian literature to a new generation that hasn't had the opportunity to savour this tale of love and longing.