Samuthiram was born in Tippanampatti village in Tirunelveli District. He worked in All India Radio and Doordarshan. He was a prolific writer who wrote fourteen novels, four novellas, two essay anthologies, one play and more than 300 short stories (published as twenty two collections). Many of his works have been translated into other Indian languages like Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam. His political orientation was socialist and he was involved in many literary feuds with his fellow writers like Asokamitran and Vannanilavan. His works reflect his socialist beliefs and most of them are about the oppression of the downtrodden. In 1990, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil for his novel Veril Pazhutha Pala (lit. The Jack Fruit that ripened at the root). He died in 2003 in a road accident in Chennai.