Popular Kerala Writers

M.T. Vasudevan Nair

M. T. Vasudevan Nair, popularly known as MT, is a Malayalam author, screenplay writer and film director. He was born on July 15, 1933 in Kudallur, a small village in Palakkad district, in the Indian state of Kerala. One of the most prolific and versatile of modern Malayalam writers, his novels, short stories and screenplays speak of the pain and anguish of the Kerala society in the post independence India.


Ernest Hemingway, they say, peppered his tales with silences – things unsaid that made readers think and seek the soul of the story. India’s literary icon MT Vasudevan Nair explores the silences in life, in the folk tales of forgotten heroes and in the legends of warriors from epics forever retold. MT, as Vasudevan Nair is more popularly known, makes heroes out of villains and winners out of losers. Yet, in some curious twist to most of his tales, his heroic winners are often but sad, and sometimes villainous, losers. That, simply said, is the melancholic charm of reading MT. The man who sourced stories in silences agrees that his tales will leave behind silences too. Maybe years later, maybe, another boy who loved words, who sneaked through folded newspapers to read, might step in… but there wouldn’t be a Nila river to inspire him, nor the goodness of a village. But there would be new experiences, new observations and perhaps a new obsession to recreate the magic that master-writers like MT wove into our psyches.

MT was awarded the highest literary award in India, the Jnanpith in 1995. He is also the recipient of:

State Sahithya Academy and Sahithya Academy
National Award for Best Screenplay (five times)
National Award and for Best Film & Actor (1973/Nirmalyam/PJ Anthony)
Kerala State Award for Best Film & Screenplay (1978/Bandhanam)
Kerala State Award for Best Film (1991/Kadavu)
MT's oeuvre consists of novels, short-stories, film scripts and non-fiction works on literary themes. The US Library of Congress has in its collection sixty-two books, mostly by M.T and some on him. His close friendship with the giant of Malayalam literature, Vaikom Muhammed Basheer was well chronicled, although his writing style bears no similarity with that of the latter.

His Novels
Manju (Mist)
Kalam (Time)
Nalukettu (Ancestral House)
Asuravithu (Seed of the Demon)
Vilapayathra (The Funeral Procession)
Pathiravum Pakalvelichavum (Midnight and Daylight)
Arabipponnu (The Gold of Arabia, written with N.P. Muhammed)
Randamoozham (The Second Turn)
VARANASI (Benares)

Stories
Iruttinte Atmavu
Olavum Theeravum
Kuttyedathi
Varikkuzhi
Pathanam
Bandhanam
Swargam Thurakkunna Samayam
Ninte
Vanaprastham
Dar-es-salam
Raktham Puranda Mantharikal
Veyilum Nilavum
Kaliveedu
Vedanayude Pookkal
Sherlock

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