Kovilan received the highest critical appreciation for his later work Thattakam, a powerful and poignant portrayal of generations of people in his ancestral hamlet. The novel unfolds itself through innumerable anecdotes sprouting from legends, oracles, revelations, fantasies and historical events. Its structure closely follows the magic of loosely connected episodes being integrated into a meta-narrative, reminiscent of the great Indian epics. The narrative invents its own time and space that allows free passage of countless generations across the past, the present and the future. In this mission, Kovilan develops a linguistic symphony that blends the dialects and language of myriad social strata. Thattakam won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998.
About the Author
Kandanisseri Vattomparambil Velappan Ayyappan, popularly known as Kovilan, was a novelist as well as freedom fighter from Kerala and is considered as one of the most prolific writers of contemporary Indian literature. In all, he had authored 11 novels, 10 collections of short stories, three essays and a play. Though the settings of his stories varied from military camps in frozen Himalayas to obscure village in Thrissur, he brought to bear a universal dimension on them transcending the limitations of space and time. Kovilan was a recipient of the Kerala government’s highest literary honour Ezhuthachan Puraskarom in 2006 in recognition of his contribution to Malaylam literature. He won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award in 1972 and 1977, the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 1998 and the Vayalar award in 1999.