Zero Degree

Zero Degree is a 1998 postmodern, transgressive, lipogrammatic novel by Tamil author Charu Nivedita, later translated into Malayalam and English.

Awards and accolades[edit]

Literary contemporaries on Zero Degree[edit]

  • In his foreword to the Malayalam translation of Zero Degree, Paul Zacharia wrote, "It is like an open experimental laboratory. Amidst the smoke, noxious vapors, and beautiful imagery, I experienced a wondrous journey."[7]
  • Tarun Tejpal opines that Zero Degree is remarkable for its experimental voice and its varying and shifting tonalities.[8]
  • Anil Menon considers Zero Degree bold and ambitious. He posits that the ancient fascination with language and reality continues to burst through the crust in Charu Nivedita’s works.[9]
  • Noted translator Jason Grunebaum[10] considers Zero Degree wildly exciting and complains that Charu does not write in Hindi, so that he would translate Charu's works to English.[11]
  • Poet Vivek Narayanan[12] says about Zero Degree: "I think we should take Zero Degree not just as a playful, ironic “postmodern” novel but as a novel of oppositions and contradictions: a deeply autobiographical novel where the self has been scattered, an ironic pastiche novel that speaks to raw experience, a defiantly cosmopolitan novel than nonetheless pins a very particular kind of schizophrenic rage that perhaps—I could be wrong—any Tamilian will immediately recognise."[13][14]

Universities on Zero Degree[edit]


  • Zero Degree was translated into Malayalam in 1999 by Dr G.Balasubrahmanian and Dr P.M.Gireesh.
  • It was translated into English in 2008 by Pritham K. Chakravarthy and Rakesh Khanna.
  • Further translations into Telugu, Hindi and Spanish are on the anvil.


Special feature[edit]

Keeping with the numerological theme of Zero Degree, the only numbers expressed in either words or symbols are numerologically equivalent to nine (with the exception of two chapters). This Oulipian ban includes the very common word one (only in Tamil edition).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jan Michalski Prize for Literature 2013
  2. ^ Tarun Tejpal, one of the juries of Jan Michalski 2013, on Zero Degree
  3. ^ The Hindu's review of 50 Writers, 50 Books - The Best of Indian Fiction
  4. ^ "Print Pick". The Hindu. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2020.
  5. ^ "15 Lesser Known Yet Incredible Indian Authors You Should Read Instead of Chetan Bhagat & Durjoy Dutta". 11 May 2017.
  6. ^ The Sunday Guardian on Zero Degree
  7. ^ Paul Zacharia on Zero Degree
  8. ^[bare URL PDF]
  9. ^ Anil Menon on Zero Degree
  10. ^ About Jason Grunebaum
  11. ^ Jason Grunebaum on Charu
  12. ^ About Vivek Narayanan
  13. ^ Vivek Narayanan's Facebook post on the eve of Almost Island Dialogues 2010
  14. ^ "Almost island diologues « Charu Nivedita". Archived from the original on 13 March 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2022.
  15. ^ "On Charu Nivedita's 'Zero Degree' (Trans. By Pritham K. Chakravarthy & Rakesh Khanna)". 2 March 2012.
  16. ^ An article by Chad W. Post in the 'Three Percent Tag', a part of the University of Rochester's translation program.
  17. ^ An interview of Rakesh Khanna of the Blaft Publications.

External links[edit]