Laburnum for My Head
First edition
AuthorTemsüla Ao
GenreShort stories
PublisherPenguin India
Publication date
14 November 2009
Media typePrint (paperback)
Pages107 pp
Preceded byThese Hills Called Home: Stories From A War Zone 

Laburnum for My Head (2009) is the collection of eight short stories by Indian author Temsüla Ao. The stories are about the lives of people from the vibrant and troubled region of Nagaland in northeast India.

The collection brought its author the 2013 Sahitya Akademi Award for English, conferred by the Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.[1]



The collection received generally favorable reviews. Writing for Biblio: A Review of Books, Anusua Mukherjee compares the voice of the narrator to that "of an elderly village woman telling the tales, who has been there and seen it all, and in the wisdom born of endurance, can smoothen the jagged edges of experience in the rich texture of the tapestry that is the stories she weaves."[2] On a critical note, Mukherjee also goes on to say that the dry writing style which is the strength of Ao's poetry, "parches the prose, making it too flat at times."[2] However, writing for Business Standard, Vineeta Rai suggests that "the simplicity of the language hides the complexity of emotions and themes she has written about, and the stories linger on long after the pages have been turned and the book closed."[3]



  1. ^ "Poets dominate Sahitya Akademi Awards 2013" Archived 19 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine. Sahitya Akademi. 18 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  2. ^ a b Mukherjee, Anusua (May–June 2010). "Foregrounding the Feminine". Biblio: A Review of Books. 15 (5 & 6): 14.
  3. ^ Rai, Vineeta (5 December 2009). "Tales from troubled times". Business Standard. Retrieved 19 February 2020.