CHENNAI: Sahitya Akademi-winning Tamil writer, R N Joe D’Cruz on Saturday said his third and latest novel, Asthinapuram based on the shipping and logistics industry would be his last.
The announcement has come nine months after the writer was taken to court over his alleged negative portrayal of fishermen and Christianity in his second novel, Korkai, which won him the Sahitya Akademi award in 2013.
The writer will, however, continue writing essays and articles in magazines, he said at the launch of Asthinapuram. “I do not see myself as a writer to feel the necessity not to cease writing. I am a common man who shared my experiences in life in the form of novels. I don’t have much to share anymore,” D’Cruz told Express on his decision.
Asthinapuram attempts to throw light on the functioning of the shipping and logistics sector, in which he has first-hand experience, he said. “The public have been oblivious to the life inside harbours and ports. I have tried to explore it. My novel is a small drop in the mighty ocean that the field is,” he added.
Dismissing the controversies surrounding his two earlier works, the writer said that they have not affected him much. “There is a personal agenda behind all my novels, I agree,” he said even while denying that his latest work is a political novel, as pointed out by more than one speakers in the event.
“I leave that to the readers’ perception, but I would say it is a work of literature,” he said. A Facebook post on April 2014 in support of the then PM candidate Narendra Modi stalled the English translation of his first novel, Aazhi Soozh Ulahu as the Delhi-based publishing house, Navayana, cancelled the agreement.
D’Cruz, who also faced backlash from a section of writers and critics over his pro-Modi stance before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, started his speech at Asthinapuram’s launch by saying he likened his position to that of a student awaiting exam results, similar to what Modi had said ahead of this year’s fiscal budget.
Senior historian K R A Narasiah released the first copy of the novel as senior IAS officer M Natarajan received it.