Translated into English by P. Balasubrainanian as Beyond The Sky for Sahitya Akademi (2010)
Vanam Vasappadum is considered to be a major contribution to the genre of the historical novel in Tamil literature. It documents the founding, consolidation, and collapse of the French colonial venture in India with Puducherry (Pondicherry) as its center. Oscillating between the period 1740 and 1750, the novel brings history and fiction together to produce an intriguing narrative of the French empire envisaged through the diary of Anandarangam Pillai, the Dubash for the French government in Puducherry. What unfolds is not only a slice of history but also the various facets of human nature under the colonial regime of the French empire. Set in a time when the British imperialists were attempting to bring India under their control, with all weapons at their disposal, the French imperialists were successfully implementing it.
The novel was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1995.
About the Author
Prapanchan was born in 1945 in Puducherry. He has published 18 collections of short stories, 14 novels, one novelette, and one collection of plays. He has been honoured with several awards and honours including the Tamil Nadu Government’s Best Writer Award for the years 1982 and 1986 respectively. He was also awarded the Pondicherry Government’s Best Writer Award in the year 1986. A number of his works have been translated into Indian languages, English, and French.