is one of the pioneers of modernity in Malayalam literature
The term Malayalam literature refers to Literature written in Malayalam language. Malayalam is the language spoken by around 35 million people, mainly the inhabitants of the state of Kerala and the union territory of Lakshadweep Islands in India. Malayalam is a Dravidian language and thus has close...
, belonging to Mahe, part of Pondicherry Union Territory
A Union Territory is a sub-national administrative division of India, in the federal framework of governance. Unlike the states of India, which have their own elected governments, union territories are ruled directly by the federal government; the President of India appoints an Administrator or...
in South India
South India is the area encompassing India's states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu as well as the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry, occupying 19.31% of India's area...
. He was born on 10 September 1942 at Mayyazhi (Mahe), a one-time French territory in India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...
. He served as the president of Kerala Sahitya Akademi from October 2006 until March 2010.
Mukundan is known in Kerala as Mayyazhiyude Kathakaaran
(The story-teller of Mayyazhi). His native village of Mayyazhi figures in his early works: Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerangalil', 'Daivathinte Vikrithikal', 'Appam Chudunna Kunkiyamma
and Lesli Achante Kadangal
His first literary work was a short story
A short story is a work of fiction that is usually written in prose, often in narrative format. This format tends to be more pointed than longer works of fiction, such as novellas and novels. Short story definitions based on length differ somewhat, even among professional writers, in part because...
published in 1961. Mukundan has so far published 12 novels and ten collections of short stories. Mukundan's latest four novels Adithyanum Radhayum Mattu Chilarum', 'Oru Dalit Yuvathiyude Kadanakatha','Kesavante Vilapangal
carries a change in structure and approach.
Oru Dalit Yuvathiyude Kadanakatha
reveals how Vasundhara, an actress has been insulted in the course of acting due to some unexpected situations. It proclaims the postmodern message that martyrs are created not only through ideologies, but through art also.
one of his most recent works tells the story of a writer Kesavan who writes a novel on a child named Appukkuttan who grows under the influence of E. M. S. Namboodiripad
Elamkulam Manakkal Sankaran Namboodiripad, , popularly known as EMS, was an Indian Communist leader and the first Chief Minister of Kerala. As the first non-Congress chief minister in independent India, he became the leader of the first democratically elected communist government in the world...
. Daivathinte Vikrithikal
bagged the Kendra Sahithya Academy award and NV Prize. Ee Lokam Athiloru Manushyan
bagged the Kerala Sahitya Academy award. Daivathinte Vikrithikal has been translated into English and published By Penguin Books India.
In 2008, Mukundan's magnum opus Mayyazhi Puzhayude Theerangalil fetched him the award for the best novel published in the last 25 years. Three of his novels were made into feature films in Malayalam . Mukundan wrote the script and one of them bagged a state film award.
Mukundan's novel Pravasam
(sojourn in non-native land) and tells the story of a Malayali whose journeys carry him around the world.
The French government conferred on him the title of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1998 for his contribution to literature.
His novel Delhi Gadhakal (Stories of Delhi) was released in November 2011. In this work, the author takes us through his recollections in India's capital city, New Delhi.
- 1999. On the Banks of the Mayyazhi. Trans. Gita Krishnankutty. Chennai: Manas.
- 2002. Sur les rives du fleuve Mahé. Trans. Sophie Bastide-Foltz. Actes Sud.
- 2002. God's Mischief. Trans. Prema Jayakumar. Delhi: Penguin.
- 2004. Adityan, Radha, and Others. Trans. C Gopinathan Pillai. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi.
- 2005. The Train that Had Wings: Selected Short Stories of M. Mukundan. trans. Donald R. Davis, Jr. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- 2006. Kesavan's Lamentations. Trans. A.J. Thomas. New Delhi: Rupa.
- 2007. Nrittam: a Malayalam Novel. Trans. Mary Thundyil Mathew. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen.