K. R. Meera
|K. R. Meera|
K.R. Meera at Kerala Literature Festival 2016
February 19, 1970 |
Sasthamkotta, Kollam district, Kerala, India
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer, journalist, screenplay writer, columnist|
|Genre||Novel, short story|
|Notable works||Ave Maria, Aarachaar|
|Notable awards||Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Odakkuzhal Award, Vayalar Award|
K. R. Meera (born 19 February 1970) is an Indian author, who writes in Malayalam. She was born in Sasthamkotta, Kollam district in Kerala. She worked as a journalist in Malayala Manorama but later resigned to concentrate more on writing. She started writing fiction in 2001 and her first short story collection Ormayude Njarambu was published in 2002. Since then she has published five collections of short stories, two novellas, five novels and two children's books. She won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009 for her short-story, Ave Maria. Her novel Aarachaar (2012) is widely regarded as one of the best literary works produced in Malayalam language. It received several awards including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (2013), Odakkuzhal Award (2013), Vayalar Award (2014) and Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award (2015). It was also shortlisted for the 2016 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature.
Early life and family
She was born in Sasthamkotta, Kollam district in Kerala as the daughter of Ramachandran Pillai and Amritakumari. She passed her master's degree in Communicative English from Gandhigram Rural Institute, Dindigul, Tamil Nadu.
Meera lives in Kottayam with her husband M.S. Dileep, who is a journalist with Malayala Manorama. Their only daughter Shruti was a residential student at the Rishi Valley School, Andhra Pradesh. She is doing her undergraduate study in History at C. M. S college Kottayam
In 1993, she joined as a journalist in Kottayam-based Malayalam daily Malayala Manorama. Once her stories were published and well received, she abandoned journalism in 2006 and transformed into an author. She was the Senior Sub Editor of Manorama when she resigned. During her journalistic career, she published many special stories which won her numerous awards and recognitions. She won the PUCL Human Rights National Award for Journalism in 1998 for an investigative series on the plight of women labourers in Kerala. This series also won the Chowara Parameswaran Award instituted by Kerala Press Academy. A series on children won her the Deepalaya National Journalism Award for Child Rights in 2001.
She started writing fiction in 2001 and her first short story collection Ormayude Njarambu was published in 2002. This collection won the Gita Hiranyan Endowment Award instituted by Kerala Sahitya Akademi and Ankanam Literary Award. Her next book Mohamanja was published in 2004. It was translated into English by J. Devika as Yellow is the Colour of Longing (Penguin, 2011). The title story, which explores the absurdity of desire, was also published in Arshilata: Women's Fiction from India and Bangladesh (ed. Niaz Zaman). She won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2008 for the collection Ave Maria. The title story of the book is a brutal glimpse into the debris of Kerala's Communist ideology, the fault lines left behind in families. A translation of this story was included in the book First Proof 5, The Penguin Book of New Writing from India (Penguin, 2010). Her other collections include K. R. Meerayude Kathakal, a collection of major 26 stories published so far, including Machakathe Thachan, Ormayude Njarampu, Mohamanja, Ave Maria, Karineela, Malakhayude Marukukal, Karineela, Soorpanakha, Alif Laila and Ottapalam Kadakkuvolam.
Her early novels include Aa Maratheyum Marannu Marannu Njan, Meera Saadhu, Nethronmeelanam and Yudasinte Suvishesham. Meera Sadhu (DC Books, 2008) tells the story of an IIT graduate abandoned at a Krishna temple after going through some torrid times in her married life. Five of her short novels have been compiled into a single book titled Meerayude Novellakal (2014).
Aarachaar, widely regarded as her masterpiece, was originally serialised in Madhyamam Weekly and was published as a book by DC Books in 2012. Set in Bengal, it tells the story of a family of executioners with a long lineage, beginning in the fourth century BC. The protagonist of the novel, Chetna, is a strong and tenacious woman who struggles to inherit this profession. According to noted literary critic M. Leelavathy, Aarachaar is one of the best literary works produced in Malayalam and follows the legacy of O. V. Vijayan's classic work Khasakkinte Itihasam. The novel received the 2013 Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award. It was also awarded the prestigious Odakkuzhal Award in 2013, Vayalar Award in 2014 and Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015. Aarachaar was translated into English by J. Devika as The Hangwoman. The novel has sold more than 38000 copies (as of 2015 January). The novel was translated into English by J. Devika under the title Hangwoman: Everyone Loves a Good Hanging (Hamish Hamilton, 2014). Hangwoman was shortlisted for the prestigious DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016. Her latest novel Sooryane Aninja Penkutti is being published in Vanitha magazine.
She has also been noted as a screenplay writer of four serials. She was credited as the associate in writing for the film Ore Kadal, a National Award winner. She is also a well-known column-writer in Malayalam.
Awards and honours
- 1998: PUCL Human Rights National Award for Journalism
- 1998: Chowara Parameshwaran Award
- 2001: Deepalaya National Journalism Award for Child Rights
- 2004: Lalithambika Sahitya Award
- 2004: Gita Hiranyan Endowment Award by Kerala Sahitya Akademi - Ormayude Njarampu
- 2004: Ankanam Literary Award - Ormayude Njarampu
- 2006: Kerala Varma Katha Puraskaram - Ormayude Njarampu
- 2006: E. V. Krishna Pillai Smaraka Sahitya Award - Mohamanja
- 2006: Thoppil Ravi Smaraka Sahitya Award - Karineela
- 2009: Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Story - Ave Maria
- 2013: Odakkuzhal Award - Aarachaar
- 2013: Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award for Novel - Aarachaar
- 2014: Vayalar Award - Aarachaar
- 2015: Oman Kerala Sahitya Puraskaram
- 2015: Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award - Aarachaar
- 2016: Shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature - Hangwoman (Translated by J. Devika)
- Aa Maratheyum Marannu Marannu Njan
- Aarachaar (2012) (Hangwoman: Everyone Loves a Good Hanging)
- Sooryane Aninja Oru Sthree
Collections of short stories
- Sarpayajnam (2001)
- Ormayude Njarambu (2002) (The Vein of Memory)
- Moha Manja (2004) (Yellow is the Colour of Longing)
- Ave Maria
- K. R. Meerayude Kathakal
- Meerayude Novellakal (2014)
- "Sahitya Academy awards announced"
- "ആരാച്ചാര് മലയാളത്തിലെ ഏറ്റവും നല്ല നോവലുകളിലൊന്ന് : ഡോ. എം ലീലാവതി". DC Books. 3 February 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- Varuna Verma (18 January 2015). "'A writer is inherently a feminist, humanist, environmentalist and a socialist'". Telegraph. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Nandini Nair. "Telling Herstory". Business Line. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- Shreekumar Varma (2 May 2010). "A bunch of blooms". The Hindu. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "Sahitya Akademi award for Meera's 'Aarachar'". The Times of India. 20 December 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
- "Meera’s Hangwoman in DSC prize shortlist". The Hindu. 28 November 2015. Retrieved 5 December 2015.
- Shahla Kunjumohammad (20 January 2015). "A journey through the soul". Malayala Manorama. Retrieved 13 February 2015.
- "Ankanam award for KR Meera". Deccan Herald. 8 March 2004. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "കെ ആര് മീരയുടെ ആരാച്ചാറിന് ഓടക്കുഴല് പുരസ്കാരം". DC books. 12 January 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
- "2013-ലെ കേരള സാഹിത്യ അക്കാദമി അവാര്ഡുകള് പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ചു" (PDF). Kerala Sahitya Akademi. December 2014. Retrieved 28 December 2014. zero width joiner character in
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- "K R Meera gets Vayalar award". Business Standard. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 11 October 2014.
- "ഒമാന് കേരള സാഹിത്യ പുരസ്കാരം കെ.ആര്. മീരയ്ക്ക്. DC books. 12 February 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2015.
- "KR Meera wins Kendra Sahitya Akademi award". Malayala Manorama. 17 December 2015. Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- "DSC Prize 2016 Finalists". DSC Prize. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.