Penning prises for people’s prose

Veterans in the Tamizh literary world step up to recommend the best reads from among new-generation authors and novelists, all creating history in their own stride
For representational purposes
For representational purposes

CHENNAI: The year that has gone by had a majority of us streaming movies and shows on OTT platforms, checking YouTube notifications for the favourite content creator to drop tutorial videos and trying to reality.

This year, how about spending time exploring one of our oldest source of comforts — books. To save you the pain of sifting through a mountain of titles and get you started on your 2021 reading journey, we turned to Tamizh literary stars for help. From sci-fi novels to romance, eight authors share reads that have given them joy, made them pause, think and soak in the magic of words.

V Dhivakar
Dhivakar is a retired journalist and author who has penned several books, especially in the history genre. Vamsadhara deals with the Chola history and events in the backdrop of the Chola-Kalinga war. Vichithrachithan, SMS Emden 22/09/1914 and Amrutha are other popular titles.


Devan oda varthaigal enaku deva varthaigal (Devan’s words are like words from the cosmos to me). These two books have to be read by anyone who wants to pursue a career in writing. Even if you aren’t and want to just read some good writing, I highly recommend it.

Both books are available on Goodreads.

Tiruppur Krishnan
A writing career spanning over four decades, writer-orator Tiruppur Krishnan is the editor of Tamil magazine Amudhasurabi and is also the recipient of the coveted Kalaimamani award. It was awarded to him in 2011 for his contribution to the Tamizh literary world. Kanchiyin Karunaikkadal, Kodhai Naayagiyin Ilakiya Padhai and Shridi Baba are some of his works.


I recently finished reading this book and to me, this is perhaps one of the most important novels in Tamizh in recent times. Through its seamless narrative, the book gives the reader a look into how women from an era bygone in Tamil Nadu, broke shackles of the society and progressed. With the first chapter starting in 1955, during the period lacing the demise of writer Kalki Krishnamurthy and the last chapter interspersing a conversation with discussions of Manalur Maniammai, these point to the timeline during which the story takes place. Period-relevant social issues have been tastefully addressed and the writing also weaves in words that have now vanished from dialogues. It’s a fascinating read, warms the heart and pulls the strings at regular intervals.

The book is priced at Rs 200 and available at Kavitha Publications, T Nagar (24364243).

Perumal Murugan
Perumal Murugan is an author, scholar and literary chronicler who writes in Tamizh. A native of Namakkal, he has written more than 10 novels, five collections of short stories and four anthologies of poetry. Madhorubhagan is his most popular work. Some of his other works that have been translated into English are Koola Madari and Poonachi Allathu Oru Vellatin Kathai.


Sri Lankan writer Annogen Balakrishnan has been doing a commendable job. His stories have also been published in various magazines. He has released two short story compilations of which one is Pachai Narambu (Green Nerve). I admire his broad-minded approach to writing. I like how his style explores the problems of the present-day generation and their way of living. He’s one of the new-generation writers to watch out for.

Pachai Narambu is priced at Rs 140 and available on Amazon.

Mugil Siva
Mugil is a city-based journalist, editor and writer. He has written over 25 books, predominantly in the genre of history. Some of his works include Yudhargal: Varalaarum Vaazhkaiyum, Mugalayargal, Mambumigu Vivasayigal, Velichchathin Niram Karuppu and Unavu Sarithiram. He writes books and content for television and cinema.


Ram Thangam from Nagercoil is a promising writer. He’s a current-generation author from Nanjil Nadu (Kanyakumari). His book Thirukarthiyal is close to my heart. I’m currently reading his novel Rajavanam. There’s a certain confidence and clarity in his writing. The writer also focuses on the history, people, places and heritage of Nagercoil in his writing.

Thirukarthiyal is priced at Rs 153 and available on

Author Selventhiran has been writing since 2008. He has published a poetry series in Ananda Vikatan and has written for many other magazines. He has written five books during the pandemic-induced lockdown, of which three — ‘Palai Nila Payanam’, ‘Vasipathu Eppadi?’ and ‘Nagumo le Payale’ were well-received. He is also an ardent blogger.


Writer Bogan Shankar has been writing poetry and short stories for a few years now. I believe he has a bigger scope and has a good set of readers. I like his book Erivadhum Anaivadhum Ondre. His other works include Siriya Engal Urangum Arai and Krishnanin Aayiram Naamangal. His writing has the potential to pierce the mind of the readers.

Siriya Engal Urangum Arai is priced at Rs 100 and Krishnanin Aayiram Naamangal is priced at Rs 78. Both are available on Amazon.

Soma Valliappan
Soma Valliappan is a writer, speaker, trainer, and an expert in the areas of human resource management, personality development, and financial investments. He has written over 60 books in Tamizh and English on various subjects such as self-development, the stock market, emotional intelligence, time management, sales, leadership, and personality development.

The fictional short story compilation draws inspiration from real-life events. It features stories that take place in different contexts in different eras. It touches upon topics of human nature, feelings and emotions such as love, hope, betrayal, nostalgia and more. This is something that would appeal to the common man.

Rubber Valaiyalgal is priced at Rs 300 and available on Amazon.

Vidya Subramaniam
Vidya Subramaniam is a Chennai-based author, who has written more than 100 short stories and novels including Vetti Verkal and Kudisai. In a career spanning 27 years, she has been conferred with several awards including the Tamil Nadu government award and the Kovai Lilly Deivasigamani Virudhu.

Book recommendation

There are very few writers in Tamizh who write scifiction novels. While most bring to mind themes about computers and satellites, the novel 7.83 Hertz is a science fiction novel about PsyOps (Psychological operations), a remote mind control operation, written from a different angle with a rather exhilarating narrative. No other Indian language has such a science fiction novel and it is a creation unique to the Tamizh language.

The Kindle version is priced at Rs 99 on Amazon.

Indhumathi is a veteran author, who began her writing career at the age of 16. Since then, she has continued to create an impact on readers of Tamizh novels through her narratives and 100-odd books. Her notable works include the serialised novel Tharayil Irangum Vimanangal. Her articles and stories have also been published in renowned Tamizh magazines. Some of her works have also been translated into other regional languages.


I have always been greatly inspired by the works of author T Janakiraman. His works have taught me to appreciate and accept life as it is and enjoy its beauty and nuances. Na Parthasarathy’s books teach the reader how to live life and its different tenets. The recommendations are just a slice from their work. The books are available on Amazon.

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