Firebrand Tamil Novelist Jayakanthan Dies at 81

09 April, Chennai

Tamil Novelist, short story writer and literary critic Jayakanthan died in Chennai Wedneday after a prolonged illness.

He was 81 and is survived by wife, two daughters and a son.

Jayakanthan won Padmabhushan, Gyanpith and Sahitya Academy Award for his writings.

Tamil novelist, short-story writer and essayist Jayakanthan significantly enriched modern Tamil literature by portraying the lives of those on the fringes society. And he shocked the same society with his nonconformist views, often questioning long-held views on women and chastity

Born in 1934 in Cuddalore, Jayakanthan ran away from home to Madras and became a member of the Commmunist Prty at a very young age.

His first short story appeared in a little known magazine Sowbakiyavathi. He went on to become a prolific writer, authoring over 35 novels and novellas, innumerable short stories and two autobiographies—Oru Ilakkiyavathiyin Arasiyal Anubavangal and Oru Arasiyalvathiyin Ilakkiya Anubavangal—besides writing articles and composing poems.

His novels Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal, Oru Nadigai Nadagam Paarkiral, Yaarukkaga Azhudhaan and Cinemavukku Pona Chithalu were adapted as films. Jayakanthan himself experimented with film-making and directed Yarukkaka Azhudhaan, Unnai Pol Oruvan and Paathai Theiryuthu Paar.

He also edited a pro-Congress daily Navasakthi for a while.

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