Kovilpatti, Tamil Nadu
|Pen name||P. Manickavasagam|
|Occupation||Novelist, short story writer|
|Notable awards||Sahithya Academy Award |
Life and works
In his youth, Poomani was enchanted by the stories he heard around him growing up, as told by his mother and in his community. As a young man, the works of Ki. Rajanarayanan, a senior writer from Kovilpatti, inspired Poomani to take up writing. 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". He was also influenced by P. Kesavadev's Malayalam novel, Ayalkar, published in English as The Neighbours (1979). 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."
Poomani's historical novel Agnaadi (January 2012) has been called "a landmark work". 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. The families are from a range of castes (Devendrakula Velalar, Vannaars, Panaiyeri Nadars, Naickers and Thevars) and occupations (farmers, washermen, toddy-tappers, landed squires and warriors). Poomani received a 28-month study and research grant from Indian Foundation of the Arts in Bengaluru to study the history of the novel. The novel won the inaugural Gitanjali Literary Prize.
Poomani's Vekaai was also translated from Tamil to English by N. Kalyan Raman and published as Heat (2019) by Juggernaut Books.
- 1996 Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for the film Karuvelam Pookkal (dir. Poomani)
- 2011 Vishnupuram Award for his contribution to literature
- 2012 Gitanjali Literary Prize for Agnaadi
- 2014 Sahitya Akademi Award for Agnaadi
Short story collections
- N Kalyan Raman (1 February 2012). "Clashing By Night". The Caravan. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- Staff writer (2 December 2012). "Winners of Gitanjali Literary Awards announced". The Hindu. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "Tamil Nadu Government Cinema Awards". Dinakaran. Archived from the original on February 3, 1999. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
- "Film Review: Karuvelam Pookal". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- "Absorbing asides". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 November 2012.
- Prasad, Ayyappa. "Caste discrimination continues in Tamil Nadu". TruthDive. Archived from the original on 2012-01-10. Retrieved 16 November 2012.CS1 maint: Unfit url (link)
- Staff writer (2 December 2012). "Gitanjali Literary Prize to Tamil, French writers". The New Indian Express. Retrieved December 16, 2012.
- "Adil Jussawalla wins Sahitya Akademi Award 2014". Business Standard. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.