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Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai


Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai (17 April 1912 - 10 April 1999) was a novelist and short story writer of Malayalam literature. He focused on the oppressed classes as the subject of his works, which are known for their attention to historic detail. He has written several novels and over 600 short stories. His most famous works are Kayar (the Rope, 1978), Chemmeen (Prawns, 1956; film adaptation, 1965), Enipadikal (1964) and Randidangazhi (1948). He was awarded the Indian government's highest literary award, the Jnanpith in 1984.

Born in the village of Thakazhi, in Kuttanad, Alappuzha district of Kerala, he studied law at Thiruvananthapuram. Kesari A. Balakrishna Pillai whom he met there was his literary mentor.


Thottiyude makan (1947) is considered a pioneer work in Malayalam realistic novel. It is about modernity challenging the rationale of the caste system, that one's profession should depend on pedigree. Thakazhi has been known to often write an entire novel within one weekend. The novel Chemmeen, for example, was written within one weekend.

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