Ki. Rajanarayanan

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Ki. Rajanarayanan (Tamil: கி. ராஜநாராயணன்)
Ki. Rajanarayanan
Ki. Rajanarayanan
Idaiseval, Tamil Nadu, India
Pen nameKi. Ra.
Period1958– Present
GenreShort story, novel
SubjectFolklores, Rural life
Notable worksGopalla Grammam, Gopallapurathu Makkal, Nattuppura Kadhai Kalanjiyam
Notable awards1991 – Sahitya Akademi Award

Ki. Rajanarayanan (Tamil: கி. ராஜநாராயணன்), popularly known by Tamil initials as Ki. Ra., is a Tamil folklorist and acclaimed writer from India.

Writing career[edit]

Ki. Ra.'s first published short story was Mayamaan (lit. The Magical Deer), which came out in 1958. It was an immediate success.[1][2] It was followed by many more short stories. Ki Ra's stories are usually based in karisal kaadu (scorched, drought stricken land around Kovilpatti ). He centres his stories around Karisal country's people, their lives, beliefs, struggles and folklore.[3] The novels Gopalla Grammam (lit. Gopalla Village) and its sequel Gopallapurathu Makkal (lit. The People of Gopallapuram) are among his most acclaimed ; he won the Sahitya Akademi award for the latter in 1991.[4] Gopallapuram novel deals with the stories of multiple people living in a village through which the times of south India before the arrival of British to India are explored. It involves the migration of people escaping brutal kingdoms north of Tamil Nadu. As a folklorist, Ki. Ra. spent decades collecting folktales from the karisal kaadu and publishing them in popular magazines. In 2007, the Thanjavur based publishing house Annam compiled these folktales into a 944-page book, the Nattuppura Kadhai Kalanjiyam (Collection of Country Tales). As of 2009, he has published around 30 books. A selection of these were translated into English by Pritham K. Chakravarthy and published in 2009 as Where Are You Going, You Monkeys? – Folktales from Tamil Nadu. Ki. Ra. is well known for his candid treatment of sexual topics,[5][6] and use of the spoken dialect of Tamil language for his stories (rather than its formal written form).[7] In 2003, his short story kidai was made into a Tamil film titled Oruththi. It was screened in the International Film Festival of India.[8]


Rajanarayanan was born in Idaiseval village in 1922. His full name was "Rayangala Shri Krishna Raja Narayana Perumal Ramanujam Naicker", which he shortened to Ki. Rajanarayanan. He dropped out of school in the seventh standard. He was appointed as a professor of folklore at Pondicherry University in the 1980s. He currently holds the title of Director of Folktales in the university's Documentation and Survey Centre.[7][9][10] He was a member of the Communist Party of India and went to prison twice for his participation and support in the CPI organised peasant rebellions during 1947–51. In 1998-2002 he was a General council & Advisory board Member of Sahitya Akademi.[11]

Awards and recognition[edit]

  • 1971 - "Tamil valarchi araichi mandram" award[11]
  • 1979 - "Ilakkiya chinthanai" award
  • 1990 - "Best writer" award from Santhome International Christian Society
  • 1991 - Sahitya akademi award for his novel "Gopallapurarthu Makkal"[12]
  • 2008 - M.A. Chidambaram award[13]
  • 2016 - Literary achievement special award from The Tamil Literary Garden.[14][15]


Books and Novels written by him are given below.[11]


  • Tamizhnattu nadodi kathaigal (1966)
  • Tamizhnattu gramiya kathaigal (1977)
  • Thatha chonna kathaigal (1984)
  • Naattupura kathaigal part - 1(1991)
  • Naattupura kathaigal part - 2(1992)
  • Vayathu vanthavargalukku mattum (1992)
  • Kaathil viluntha kathaigal (1992)
  • Puthuvai vattara Naattupura kathaigal (1993)
  • Naattupura paaliyal kathaigal (1994)
  • Penn manam (1995)
  • Peruviral kullan (1998)

Short stories[edit]

  • Kalavu (1965)
  • Kannimai (1975)
  • Appa pillai, Amma pillai (1980)
  • Kidai kurunavalum, pannirandu sirukathaigalum (1983)
  • Karisal kathaigal (1984)
  • Koththai paruththi (1985)
  • Ki.Rajanarayanan kathaigal (1998)


  • Mayamaan (lit. The magical deer) (1958)[16]
  • Gopalla gramam (1976)
  • Pinchukal (1979)
  • Gopallapurathu makkal (1989)
  • Anthaman nayakkar (1995)


  • Karisal kaatu kadidhasi (1988)
  • Ki.Rajanarayanan katturaigal (1991)
  • Puthaga kaathalar (1998)


  • Maantharul oru annaparavai (biographical sketches of Rasigamani) (1981)
  • Vattara valakku sollakarathi (Dictionary) (1982)
  • Ku.Azhagirisamy kadithankal (1987)
  • Makkal tamil vazhallku (1991)
  • Karisal Kaattu kadudasi – volumes 1&2 (lit. letter from the scorched earth), Agaram (1991)
  • Ki.Rajanarayanan pathilgal (1994)
  • Kadithangal Kadithangal (1998)
  • Maraivai sonna kathaikal (lit. Hidden stories)
  • Oruthi (screenplay)(lit. One woman)(2003)
  • (ed.)Nattuppura Kadhai Kalanjiyam (lit. Collection of Country Tales), Annam (2007)
  • Ki. Ra. Natkurippilirundhu (lit. From the diary of Ki. Ra)
  • Vetti


  1. ^ Maalan (21 September 2007). "இன்னும் ஒரு நூறாண்டு இரும்". Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  2. ^ Rajanarayanan, Ki.; Chakravarthy, Pritham K (2009). Where Are You Going, You Monkeys? – Folktales from Tamil Nadu. Chennai, India: Blaft Publications. p. 237. ISBN 978-81-906056-4-9.
  3. ^ PKR (17 August 2004). "Literary criticism". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  4. ^ "Sahitya Akademi Awards 1955–2007". Sahitya Akademi. Archived from the original on 31 March 2009. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  5. ^ Jai Arjun Singh (10 March 2009). "Short, Sweet, and Subversive: Blaft's Tamil Folktales". Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  6. ^ Vijay Nambisan. "Stranger than fiction: Thought-provoking folktales". Deccan Herald. The Printers. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  7. ^ a b Gowri Ramnarayan (17 September 2002). "Master of the Short Story". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 10 March 2009.
  8. ^ S. Theodore Baskaran (28 November 2003). "A tale rooted in the soil". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  9. ^ Agrawal, S. P. (1991). Development/digression diary of India: 3D companion volume to Information India 1991–92. Concept Publishing Company. p. 49. ISBN 81-7022-305-9.
  10. ^ "Ki. Rajanarayanan". The Hindu. The Hindu Group. Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2009.
  11. ^ a b c "Meet the Author" (PDF). Sahitya Akademi - Indian government. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  12. ^ "AKADEMI AWARDS (1955-2016)". Sahitya Akademi - Indian government. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2017.
  13. ^ "M.A. Chidambaram awards presented". The Hindu. 13 October 2008. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  14. ^ "விருது: கி.ரா.வுக்கு இலக்கியச் சாதனை விருது". The Hindu - Tamil. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  15. ^ "கி.ராஜநாராயணனுக்கு கனடா தமிழ் இலக்கியத் தோட்டத்தின் இலக்கியச் சாதனை சிறப்பு விருது – 2016". Tamil Literary Garden. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  16. ^ "Ki. Rajanarayanan". Penguin publishers. Retrieved 26 April 2017.

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