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Tamil Writer Ashokamitran Biography
Ashokamitran ( born September 22, 1931 ) is one of the most influential figures in post – independent Tamil Literature. Ashokamitran began his literary career with the prize winning play “Anbin Parisu”, followed by many short stories, novellas and novels. A distinguished essayist and critic, Ashokamitran is the editor of the literary journal “Kanaiyaazhi”.
Ashokamitran has written over 200 short stories, eight novels, some 15 novellas besides other prose writings. Most of his works have also been translated into English.
Born in Secunderabad, Ashokamitran spent the first twenty years of his life here. His real name was Thyagarajan. Ashokamitran moved to Chennai in 1952 after the death of his father. Ashokamitran worked for more than a decade at the Gemini Studios. His experiences here and his interaction with people from the Tamil filmdom later took the form of his book “My Years with Boss”.
It was from 1966 that Ashokamitran became a full – time writer and he took up the pseudonym of “Ashokamitran”. In the 1980s most of his works were translated into English and Ashokamitran and his works became well – known all over India. Some of his works were translated into other European Languages and most Indian Languages as well.
Ashokamitran Writing Style
His works are charactersied by simplicity and satire. Though his works usually involve a detailed analysis of common incidents or common people, Ashokamitran handles bigger issues and subjects through them. The backdrop for most of his stories is either Chennai or Hyderabad.
- Anbin Parisu
- Appavin Snegidhar
- 18 – Vadhu Atchakkodu
- My Years with Boss
Ashokamitran was given the Government of Tamil Nadu Award thrice and the “Illakiya Chinthani” Award twice in 1977 and 1984. He was honoured with the K.K. Birla Fellowship to do a study in comparative Indian Literature and the University of Iowa Creative Writing Fellowship in 1973 – 1974.
Ashokamitran was conferred the Lily Memorial Award in 1992 and the Akshara award in 1996. In 1995, Ashokamitran was awarded the “Rama Krishna Dalmia” Award for promoting religious harmony for his Novel “18 – Vadhu Atchakkodu” ( This has been translated into English in the name “The Eighteenth Parallel” ).
This novel is a kind of biographical look back at his early years at Secundarabad. It describes the life of a young man set against the backdrop of the political unrest that was developing in Hyderabad in the late Forties. Ashokamitran was also awarded the “Sahitya Akademi” Award in 1996 for his work “Appavin Snegidhar”, a Collection of Short Stories.