Jeevithathinte Pusthakam, a novel written by K.P. Ramanunni, has been selected for the 35th Vayalar Rama Varma literary award instituted by Vayalar Rama Varma Memorial Trust.

The novel was selected by a jury comprising M. Mukundan, novelist and former chairman of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi; M. Krishnan Namboothiri, director, Department of Malayalam, Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit, Kalady; and Umar Tharamel, associate professor, Malayalam-Kerala Studies wing, Calicut University. Trust president M.K. Sanu presided over the judging panel meeting here on Saturday.

Mr. Mukundan and other panel members told reporters that the selection was unanimous. The novel stood out for its rich theme, unique language, and the skill in unravelling a totally new world. The protagonist Govinda Varma Raja, a bank officer, is struck by amnesia following a train accident and reaches a fisherman's hut. “The novel is a virtual celebration of the freedom Govinda Varma Raja gets on having amnesia. It throws open a new world sans pseudo morality and other social curbs. The structure of the novel is striking and the language used is so intense, it really disturbs the reader. The tensions and pressures of modern life figure in the novel. It has paved the way for the construction of a new language. Mr. Ramanunni, known for his strong secular and pro-minority stance, brings in his views in the novel too,” Mr. Mukundan said.

“Style and craft of novel are fast changing in the present scene. Impact of globalisation and the influence of electronic media in society figure in the novel. It also presents local history, which is a cross-section of the Indian experience itself. Religious amity and secularism too find a place in the work,” Dr. Tharamel said.

Dr. Krishnan Namboothiri said the novel had a transparency of a personal diary. It was a celebration of freedom and had been presented against the backdrop of religious amity and secularism.

The award, comprising Rs.25,000, a statuette designed by sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman, and a citation, will be presented at Cobank Towers here at 5.30 p.m. on October 27, the death anniversary of Vayalar Rama Varma.

Keywords: Vayalar award