Writer Paul Zacharia chosen for Ezhuthachan Puraskaram

Chosen for the award for his contributions to Malayalam literature and thought for the past fifty years: Culture Minister

November 01, 2020 12:18 pm | Updated 01:22 pm IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM

Paul Zacharia. File photo.

Paul Zacharia. File photo.

Writer Paul Zacharia has been selected for the 28th Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the highest literary honour of the Kerala government. Announcing the award here on Sunday, Culture Minister A.K. Balan said that he was chosen for the award for his contributions to Malayalam literature and thought for the past fifty years.

He was chosen by a jury headed by Kerala Sahitya Akademi President Vysakhan and comprising poet K. Satchidanandan, literary critic M. Thomas Mathew, Sanskrit scholar K.G. Poulose and Culture Secretary Rani George. The award comprises a cash prize of ₹5 lakhs, a citation and a plaque. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will present the award at a function to be held at the Secretariat Durbar Hall.

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Mr. Zacharia's writing spans myriad streams of literature including short stories, essays, travelogues and children's books. Known for his Malayalam short stories and essays for much of his writing career, he chose to write his first novel 'A Secret History of Compassion' in English, in 2019. He is known as a non-conformist who fearless critiqued the religious and political establishments through his writings.

His well-known works include Bhaskara Pattelarum Ente Jeevithavum, Oridathu, Oru Nasrani Yuvavum Goulishashthravum, Salaam America, Praise the Lord, Urulikkunnathinte Luthiniya, Budhijeevikalekondu enthu prayojanam, Praise the Lord, Enthundu Vishesham Pilaathose, Oru African Yathra and Arkkariyam.

The jury observed that he was able to build new aesthetic merging tragedy and comedy. His cultural interventions are testimony to the fact that he is someone who observed the society around him keenly. Using stinging black humour, he turned the thoughts of an average Malayali into unusual literary moments, said the jury.

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