Oru Desathinte Katha
By S.K. Pottekkatt
Translated into English as Tales of Athiranippādam by Sreedevi K. Nair and Radhika P. Menon
Recipient of both, the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973 and the Jnanpith Award in 1980, Oru Desathinte Katha is a semi-fictionalized autobiography of S.K. Pottekkat. It showcases the sorrows, love, laughter and sighs of the people who live in the village of Athiranippādam, located in the southern state of Kerala and draws upon the history of the country while detailing the micro-history of a place. The book takes the readers on a journey that spreads across a huge canvas—from Athiranippādam to North India and as far as Africa and Switzerland—stretching over a period of 55 years. Sreedharan, the central character, offers us a glimpse of the author’s own life in the little corner of the earth called Athiranippādam, where he was raised. He is both a witness and a participant in some of the momentous events that at times change, and at times, twist, the fortunes of Athiranippādam. Employing an interesting amalgamation of street gossip, fairy tale and recorded history—the nostalgic and autobiographical stance of the narrative haunts the reader enormously.
About the Author
Sankaran Kutty Pottekkatt (1913–1982), popularly known as S. K. Pottekkatt, was an illustrious Malayalam novelist, short story writer, dramatist, travelogue writer and teacher. He was the author of nearly sixty books which include ten novels, twenty-four collections of short stories, three anthologies of poems, eighteen travelogues, four plays, a collection of essays and a couple of books based on personal reminiscences. His works have been translated into English, Italian, Russian, German and Czech, besides all major Indian languages.
By Vilasini (M. K. Menon)
Avakasikal, published in 1980, runs into 3958 pages, in four volumes and is the second longest novel written in any Indian language after Jeymohan’s Tamil epic Venmurasu. Regarded as Vilasini’s magnum opus, the novel is set in Malaysia and deals with Velunni Kurup, a septuagenarian self-made millionaire and a host to his greedy relatives who try to defraud him of his wealth. Krishnanunni, a leading lawyer and a close friend of Velunni Kurup is the protagonist of the novel. The novel depicts the minds of about ten persons belonging to four generations with great insight. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1981 and Vayalar Award in 1983.
About the Author
M. K. Menon was born in Karumathra, near Vadakkancherry, British India. In 1953 he left for Singapore where he started his life as the editor of the English monthly called Indian Movie News. Two years later, he became the sub-editor at the French News service Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Singapore. He was also a member of the Kerala Socialist Party. He came back to Kerala in 1977. He made his debut as a novelist with the book Niramulla Nizhalukal (1965) that gives a vivid description of the lives of Malayalis in Singapore during the Second World War. He has a special liking for the stream of consciousness novel.
By C. Radhakrishnan
Spandamapinikale Nandi is based on a scientist’s impatience with all existing social arrangements, and his desperate search for remedies, which takes him beyond rational vistas. Unfortunately, the scientist is not in control over his inventions. He has to remain at the mercy of the morons who control the fate of millions in society. The discussions in the novel return to the universally shared fear that the rulers who have grown accustomed to exploiting the destructive potential of modern technology might one day be tempted to press the last button towards nuclear annihilation. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1989.
About the Author:
C. Radhakrishnan is one of the foremost living fictionists of Malayalam. He has published more than forty novels. His mode of narration has been conventional realism. A few of his novels including the popular Ottayadipadakal (1990) have been turned into films. Radhakrishnan has also authored physics articles and a book on physics titled The Secret Behind the Universe that was published in July 2016.