My earlier post Mahe - Petite France in Kerala. brought some enquiries whether M. Mukundan’s famous Malayalam novel Mayyazhi Puzhayude Theeranghalil is available in English or French. I contacted the author through Sunil K. Poolani, Publisher and Managing Editor of Frog Books, Mumbai (www.frogbooks.net, www.zzebra.net).
M. Mukundan has confirmed that the book has been translated into French and English. The French version is brought out by the famous publishing house, Actes Sud. The English translation is published by East-West (Manas),
Now, a brief note on the author and his books. Mukundan is, undoubtedly, one of the most reputed writers in
Mukundan was born in Mahe, the former French Colony, in 1942. Starting from 1961, he has been a prolific writer. Thirty-two books by him and two about him are in Library of Congress collection. Three novels by Mukundan were made into movies. He wrote the script for one of them and won the award for the Best Screenplay! A number of his works have been translated into English.
Mukundan is the recipient of many honors including three Kendra Sahithya Academy Awards (National). Mayyazhi Puzhayude Theeranghalil also won the Crossword Award. In 1998 the French Government conferred on Mukundan the title Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
Mukundan’s language is simple and expressive. There are innumerable compliments paid to this great writer by publishers, critics, editors, the media and readers. I would like to quote one by Prof. KN Panikkar in ‘Interrogating Colonialism: Novel as Imagined History, ‘Mukundan's novels provide a reading of the history of colonialism unavailable in a historian's oeuvre.'
Mukundan lives in Mahe. He is currently the Chairman of the Kerala Sahithya Academy.