Regarded as a master of the short story, K. Saraswathi Amma was born in rural Malaya in 1919. Her upper-class family status afforded her the opportunity to receive a formal education, and in 1941 she received a Bachelor's Degree in the Mayalam Language. She began to work as a teacher upon finishing her education, and, in a move considered controversial at the time, did not marry. Her first novel appeared in 1944, and a play followed the year after. From that point forward, she focused solely on short fiction, publishing nine collections between 1948 and 1958. After a particularly prolific decade, Amma stopped writing in 1958, retired from teaching, and isolated herself from outsiders. She died in 1975 at the age of 56.
Much of Amma's work considers the perspectives of women and the prejudice they face. Writing at a time and society without support for female writers, Amma was forced to rely upon herself. Her dedication to her work caused a lasting rift between her and her family, the evidence of which can be found in her work. She writes of love not with romance but with distrust, and jadedness. For this, she received a negative reception from elements of the Malayan literary community. At the core, Amma's work is the product of a complicated, creative, and courageously independent thinker.
Following her death, some of Amma's work has been translated into English. Stories have appeared in various collections, including The Slate of Life: More Contemporary Stories by Women Writers of India, released in 1994, and Stories From a Forgotten Feminist, released in 1995.