Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nanjil Nadan gets Sahitya Akademi award

I was glad to hear that Nanjil Nadan is the Sahitya Akademi award winner in Tamil this year. As with any award given by the Government there have been some strange choices over the years. This year however the Akademi has chosen the right person.

Nanjil's short stories are the product of his land. Not for him the magical realism wave that swept Tamil literature in the 80s or the post modernism of 90s. He is like the village story teller, recounting tales of his travel. His stories are based on simple day to day events, but his writing is like alchemy that transforms these plain events into universal truths.

Of all the serious writers in Tamil today, he is the one of the easiest to read. (Asokamithran is the other name that comes to mind). Nanjil's forte is short story. His novels read like an extension of his stories. Reading his short story collection is like reading his biography - starting from Nagercoil, working as a travelling sales man in Mumbai and then the move to Coimbatore to settle down.

A real tribute to him would be to get more readers to read him. So if any Tamil reader of this blog is interested, I can lend my copy of Nanjil's short story collection for a week.

My previous posts on Nanjil Nadan


Anonymous said...

he is the one of the easiest to read

In terms of what? Does he write mostly in dialect? I have to admit that I find it slow-going to read non-std Tamil.

Krishnan said...

Dear Chenthil, it is indeed heartening to learn that Nanjil Nadan has been given the award. I liked his EttuThikkum MathaYaanai very much.

Chenthil said...

Anon, not all his stories are written in the Nagercoil dialect. Most of his stories are in simple generic Tamil.

Krishnan - haven't read that one yet. I have read enbil adhanai veyil kayum and Sathuranga kuthiraikal. Some how I felt more impressed with his short stories than his novels.

Anonymous said...

Curious as to your thoughts on this:

Anonymous said...

Hi chenthil,

Can you recommend a few novels in tamil ? I am not in to ponniyan selvan and other similar stuff at the moment.I mean novels written after 1960's/70's.I heard bala directed sethu or pithamagan after reading a novel by nanjil nadan.I am still looking for a novel written by pattukottai prabhakar that i read long time ago.It was in a monthly novel.The whole story has only two chapters.The 2nd chapter is only one page.The narrative is by the main character who talks to herself or something like that.I really liked it


Anonymous said...

also chenthil since you seem to be very intrested in tamil litearature and the contemporary literary scene i have a few question which i think you might be able to answer

why tamil lags behind kannada and kerala ? Kannada and malayalam tops the jnanpith list.Also is there a direct link between theatre,play and litearature ? Tamilnadu produces films on par with bollywood and hollywood but there seems to be no thriving theatre culture.Not surprisinly i find marathi literature very vibrant as well.Its theatre is one of the most if not the most vibrant one in india today.I may not be making any sense here but i just want to know if at all there could be a reason


Chenthil said...

Anon - This is the standard practice of all caste based organisations, to create some noise just before elections and try to gain some thing out of it. I don't know what base the Chettiar association has. I come from Nattukkottai Chettiar community, which is treated as Forward Caste in TN. Chettiar, Chetty, Seth, Shetty all come from common root word in Sanskrit for traders. There are n number of Chettiar communities in TN.

SS- Bala was inspired to do something out of his then wayward life after reading a Nanjil Nadan short story. The story is here.

I haven't read Kannada or Malayalam literature, so cannot comment on them. I think Tamil literature today is as good as any Indian language literature. We have got some world class writers in Asokamithran, Jeyamohan, S Ramakrishnan, Joe D Cruze, Ki Rajaranayanan, Nanjil Nadan and more.

The problem is that there are hardly any readers. The commercial magazines dont have space for serious literature and there is no commercially viable eco system for small magazines.

If you are about to start reading Tamil literature now, start with Thi Janakiraman, Pudumaipithan, La Sa Ramamrutham and proceed down the years.

Anonymous said...

So basically according to you, modern Tamil literature is a boys club?ngs

Krishnan said...

Dear Chenthil, wishing you the very best in your business and family life in the New Year.

Anonymous said...


i would like to contact you

could you pls mail me @ sahaanapc@yahoo.co.in