Poet, Marxist critic and activist, Varavara Rao (VV) has been continually persecuted by the state and intermittently imprisoned since 1973, but he never stopped writing during all these decades, even from within prison. When he was subjected to ...
‘one thousand days of solitary confinement’ during 1985–89 in Secunderabad Jail, a leading national daily invited him to write about his prison experiences.
While prison writing is a hoary tradition, no writer has had the opportunity to publish his writings from jail. VV, however, did meet the demands placed on him as a writer, despite constraints of censorship by jail authorities and the Intelligence section. He decided to test his creative powers in jail on the touchstone of his readers’ response and expressed himself in a series of thirteen remarkable essays on imprisonment, from prison.