Anand: Doyen of Malayalam Literature

in Module
Published on: 28 September 2018

P. Sachidanandan, who writes under the pseudonym Anand, is one of the most influential writers and public intellectuals in Malayalam. He is representative of a generation of writers who burst on the Malayalam literary scene in the 1960s and 70s and changed the style and tone of fiction in the language. Their writings marked a clean break from the realistic, romantic and ideological trends that shaped fiction until then. Most of them had moved out of Kerala to cities in northern India and were deeply influenced by existentialist thought from post-World War Europe. Aalkkottam, the first novel by Anand published in the 1970s, was set in Bombay and captured the angst of the post-Independence generation, forced to migrate to cities to make their living. The novels that followed—Marana Certificate, Abhayarthikal, Marubhoomikal Undakkunnathu, Govardhanante Yatrakal, and so on—expanded the horizon of Malayalam fiction and established Anand as the preeminent novelist in the language. This module carries an overview article, interview with the 82-year-old writer who resides in Delhi an allied article and quick facts.