PUDUCHERRY: Father of Karisal (black soil land) Literature, KiRa alias Ki Rajanarayanan, died at the age of 98, in Puducherry, on Monday night. His close associate 'Pudhuvai' Ilavenil confirmed his death on his Facebook page.
KiRa was born in Idaiseval village near Kovilpatti in Tamil Nadu on September 14, 1923. Despite dropping out of school when he was in Class 7, KiRa went on to become a professor of folklore in Pondicherry University in the late 80's. Since then, he settled in Puducherry and stayed in the quarters offered by Puducherry government in Lawspet in honour of his literary works.
He wrote folklores, short stories, novels, and essays. His novel 'Gopalapurathu Makkal' won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1991 and he served as a member of Sahitya Akademi General Council and advisory board from 1998 to 2002. Due to illness, he was in bed rest for the past few months and died at the age of 98, on Monday night at his home.