Anand (writer) : biography
P. Sachidanandan (born 1936), who uses the pseudonym Anand, is an Indian writer.
Anand writes primarily in Malayalam. He is one of the noted living intellectuals in India. His works are noted for their philosophical flavor, historical context and their humanism. Veedum Thadavum and Jaivamanushyan won the Kerala Sahithya Academy Award. Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu won the Vayalar Award. He did not accept the Yashpal Award for Aalkkootam and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Abhayarthikal.
Sachidanandan was born in 1936 at Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district(Trichur) of Kerala. His father was a primary school teacher.
He graduated in Civil Engineering from College of Engineering, Trivandrum in 1958. He retired as Planning Director of the Central Water Commission after a career which included extended stints working in Gujrat, Mumbai and Bengal. He also worked in the military for four years in the Short Service Commission.
It was the famous critic Govindan who helped Anand publish his maiden novel Alkkoottam. At age 34, it was his first ever published work.
It was a new experience for the Malayalee readers and the book received rave reviews and pungent criticisms alike. He followed Alkkoottam (Crowd) with three more equally abstract novels: Maranacertificate (Death Certificate), Abhayarthikal (Refugees) and Utharayanam. These books made Anand a writer with considerable standing in Malayalam.
But it was in the late eighties and early nineties that Anand came up with two more novels, Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu and Govardhanante Yaathrakal, which made him an icon in Malayalam literature.
Contemporary Malayalam writer M. Mukundan made the following comment about Anand's style.
Anand's is the most articulate voice in Kerala today, which questions the moral premises of politics and most importantly, resists Hindu fundamentalism. His essays and novels unmistakably establish a metaphor of resistance.
The prose in Anand's novels is taut - no moon will ever rise in it, nor flowers blossom or river breezes waft through. His language, stripped to the bone, sometimes challenges the reader to go through it.
He has also written many short stories and articles, most of which deal with plight of the ordinary people who are exploited by the people in power. Anand's characters are not necessarily a Malayali, and often weaves in historical elements into his stories. More often they are also located outside Kerala.
Anand is also a prolific essayist.
1. Vayalar Award, 1993. 2. Odakuzhal Award, 1996. 3. Sahitya Akademi Award, 1997. 4. Muttathu Varkey Award, 2000. 5. Sahitya Akademi Translation Prize, 2012.http://sahitya-akademi.gov.in/sahitya-akademi/pdf/tr-award2012.pdf
Books by Anand
- Alkkoottam (The Crowd)
- Maranacertificate (The Death Certificate)
- Abhayarthikal (The Refugees)
- Marubhoomikal Undakunnathu (The Deserts come into existence)
- Govardhante Yaathrakal (The Journeys of Govardhanan)
- Vyaasanum Vighneswaranum
- Apaharikkapetta Daivangal
- Samharathinte Pusthakam
- Parinamathinte Bhoothangal (The Ghosts of Evolution)
- Dweepukalum Theerangalum (Islands and Shores)
Short story collection
- Veedum Thadavum (Home and Prison)
- Ira (Victim)
- Odiyunna Kurisu (The Breaking Cross)
- Samvadam (Convesations)
- Naalamathe Aani (The Fourth Nail.)
- Kathakal, Aatmakathakal (Stories, autobiographies)
- Sambhashanangal (Dialogue with Sachithanandan, the poet)
- Jaivamanushyan (The Biological Man)
- Vettakaaranum Virunnukaaranum
- Prakriti, Paristhithi, Daaridryam, Jalam, Oorjam
- Stanam Thettiya Vasthu
The 'abstractness' of Anand's writing has been a cause for criticism, from people alleging he does not actually name concrete people and organizations, instead relying on a historical and abstract narrative, even in his political essays. Balachandran Chullikkadu, a well-known poet in Malayalam, once said that Anand is the messiah of NGOs.
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