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September 22, 1931
Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh
Ashokamitran (born September 22, 1931) is one of the most influential figures in post-independent Tamil literature. He began his literary career with the prize winning play "Anbin Parisu", followed by many short stories, novellas and novels. A distinguished essayist and critic, he is the editor of the literary journal "Kanaiyaazhi". He has written over 200 short stories, eight novels, some 15 novellas besides other prose writings. Most of his works have also been translated into English.
Born in Secunderabad, Ashokamitran spent the first twenty years of his life here. His real name was Thyagarajan. He moved to Chennai in 1952 after the death of his father. He worked for more than a decade at the Gemini Studios. His experiences here and his interaction with people from the Tamil filmdom later took the form of his book "My Years with Boss". It was from 1966 that he became a full-time writer and he took up the pseudonym of "Ashokamitran" . In 1973 he was invited and tookpart in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, United States. In the 1980s most of his works were translated into English and he and his works became well-known all over India. Some of his works were translated into other European languages and most Indian languages as well.
His works are characterized by simplicity and clarity of thought.
- Anbin Parisu (1953)
- Appavin Snegidhar
- 18-vadhu Atchakkodu (1977) - (This has been translated into English in the name "The Eighteenth Parallel"). This novel is a kind of biographical look back at his early years at Secundarabad. It describes the life of a young man set against the backdrop of the political unrest that was developing in Hyderabad in the late Forties.
- My Years with Boss
Honours & Awards
Ashokamitran was given many awards and honours. Some of them are
- He was given the Government of Tamil Nadu award thrice and the "Illakiya Chinthani" award twice in 1977 and 1984.
- He was honoured with the K.K. Birla Fellowship to do a study in comparative Indian literature and the University of Iowa Creative Writing Fellowship in 1973-74.
- He was conferred the Lily Memorial Award in 1992
- In 1993, he was awarded the Ramkrishna Jaidayal Harmony Award by Dalmia trust for promoting religious harmony.
- Akshara award in 1996.
- He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996 for his work "Appavin Snegidhar", a collection of short stories.
- In January 2007, he received the MGR award
- In May 2012, NTR National Literary Award by NTR Vignan Trust.
- On February 10, 2013, he got the inaugural Kaa Na Su award at a function in Chennai.
- On March 30, 2013, he received the national award instituted by the Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad at Kolkata
- "Down a literary lane". The Hindu. India. 13 February 2004.
- "NTR National Literary Award for Ashokamitran". The Hindu. Hyderabad, India. 4 May 2012.
- "A very human picture". The Hindu. India. 3 October 2010.
- "Writers celebrate Sahitya Akademi Foundation Day". Indian Express. Chennai, India. 14 March 2013.
- "A writer of two cities". The Hindu. Hyderabad, India. 12 September 2002.
- "The Boss Will See You Now". Outlook. India. 6 May 2013.
- "Recipients of Harmony Awards". Organisation of Understanding and Fraternity — Dalmia Bros. Retrieved 26 July 2013.