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Born1947 (1947)
Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu, India
OccupationNovelist, short story writer
Notable worksPiragu
Notable awardsSahithya Academy Award
(2014) Agnaadi

Poomani (born 1947) is an Indian writer and novelist. He won the Sahitya Akademi award in 2014 in the Tamil language category for his novel Agnaadi.

Life and works[edit]

Poomani was born in 1947 into a family of marginal farmers in Andipatti, a village near Kovilpatti.[1]

In his youth, Poomani was enchanted by the stories he heard around him growing up, as told by his mother and in his community.[1] As a young man, the works of Ki. Rajanarayanan, a senior writer from Kovilpatti, inspired Poomani to take up writing.[1] According to Poomani, KiRa combined in his writing "the scent of the soil with the natural flow of life's energies to enable the writing to develop its own traits, instead of borrowing from other models".[1] He was also influenced by P. Kesavadev's Malayalam novel, Ayalkar, published in English as The Neighbours (1979).[1] Poomani found in Ayalkar a worthy model: "It is a strong story, told with an aesthetic narrative style and keen imagination. The imagination adds lustre to the nature of the story, instead of dominating it. Changes and values arise anew on their own. The narration brings many things alive for the reader, carries him to the terrain of the story and stands him there. It makes him walk alongside, cry and laugh. When everything is wrapped up at the end, it makes him think."[1]

Poomani's historical novel Agnaadi (January 2012) has been called "a landmark work".[1] It covers a period of more than 170 years from the beginning of the 19th century, revolving mainly around the lives and fortunes of several families dispersed over villages in the region: Kalingal, Kazhugumalai, Chatrapatti, Veppankadu, Chinnaiahpuram and Sivakasi.[1] The families are from a range of castes (Devendrakula Velalars, Vannaars, Panaiyeri Nadars, Naickers and Thevars) and occupations (farmers, washermen, toddy-tappers, landed squires and warriors).[1] Poomani received a 28-month study and research grant from Indian Foundation of the Arts in Bengaluru to study the history of the novel.[1] The novel won the inaugural Gitanjali Literary Prize.[2]

Poomani's Vekaai was also translated from Tamil to English by N. Kalyan Raman and published as Heat (2019) by Juggernaut Books.[citation needed]

Poomani's debut novel and one of the pioneering subaltern novels of Tamil Nadu "Piragu" has been translated into English by T. Marx and published as "And Then" by Emerald Publishers (December 2019) Poomani directed the award-winning movie Karuvelam Pookkal (1996) for NFDC.[3][4][5]




  • Agnaadi
  • Piragu
  • Vekkai
  • Varappugal
  • Vaaikkal
  • Neivethiyam
  • Kommai

Short story collections

  • Vayirugal
  • Reethi
  • Norungalkal



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j N Kalyan Raman (1 February 2012). "Clashing By Night". The Caravan. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  2. ^ a b Staff writer (2 December 2012). "Winners of Gitanjali Literary Awards announced". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  3. ^ a b "Tamil Nadu Government Cinema Awards". Dinakaran. Archived from the original on 3 February 1999. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  4. ^ "Film Review: Karuvelam Pookal". The Hindu. 29 September 2000. Archived from the original on 9 November 2004. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Absorbing asides". The Hindu. 12 April 2002. Archived from the original on 8 September 2003. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
  6. ^ Prasad, Ayyappa. "Caste discrimination continues in Tamil Nadu". TruthDive. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ Staff writer (2 December 2012). "Gitanjali Literary Prize to Tamil, French writers". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Adil Jussawalla wins Sahitya Akademi Award 2014". Business Standard. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.

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