M.T. Vasudevan Nair
140 x 216 mm
Year of Publishing
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Set against the backdrop of a crumbling matrilineal tarawad system of the Nairs in Kerala with its petty rivalries and jealousies, its sambandhan system of contractual marriage, its conflicts and problems, and the changes in land legislation which sharply erode the feudal order, Kaalam is the story of sethumadhavan Nair who starts out as an ambitious and confident adolescent—but in his journey towards adulthood, where material and social success go hand in hand, he is faced with an overwhelming sense of disillusionment. The river of Sethu's village, a mute witness to every crisis in his life, mirrors this journey, its sensuous beauty transformed to dry sand. MT’s lyrical prose captures the changing moods and seasons of the landscape of his own childhood in a novel that, though not strictly autobiographical, shares some of the emotional experiences of the protagonist. In a finesse characteristic of Nair's profound, yet minimalist sense of expression, the starkness of reality found in this story is touching and insightful.

M.T. Vasudevan Nair Born in 1933 in the small village of Koodallur, Kerala, Madath Thekkepat Vasudevan Nair is the best known among his generation of storywriters in Malayalam. With a publishing career spanning a little more that fifty years, he is renowned as a chronicler of life in the matriarchal joint family of Kerala, a milieu he describes with intimacy in novels such as Nalukettu (1959) and Kaalam(1969). He won the State and Kendriya Sahitya Akademi awards respectively for thse two novels. Heis also among Kerala's most popular script writers and directors of mainstream cinema. He has won four National Awards for his screenplays. The very first film he wrote, produced and directed, Nirmaalyam (The Floral Offering) won the President's Gold Medal in 1973 and Kadavu (The Ferry) won the Japanese Grand Prix. He was also awarded the Jnanpith in 1996. Apart from short fiction in which he has excelled, Nair has published novels and novellas, travelogues, literary criticism, books of children and a sizeable number of miscellaneous notes, reviews and memoirs, Nair's stories have been translated into major languages in India and abroad. He was associated with the editorship of Matrubhumi periodical publications for well over four decades. The Government of India honoured him with the Padmabhushan in 2005.
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