Chennai: R.N. Joe D’Cruz (51), who has won the 2013 Sahitya Akademi Award for his Tamil novel Korkai, has fittingly dedicated it to the people of the Tamil Nadu coast.
This Roman Catholic, who calls himself the ‘son of the sea goddess,’ deals mainly with the lives and travails of the coastal community in his work and has never lost sight of his moorings with it despite his responsible position in a prominent shipping company.
While Korkai published by Kalachuvadu Publications in 2009 traces a 100-year history of fishermen, his first book Aazhi Soozh Ulagu dealt with fishermen making a living from catamarans and won him the state government literary award in 2005.
Joe says he decided to write Korkai because he believes it is one’s duty to transfer knowledge to the next generation. “I also wanted to take the literary heritage and the culture of my people to the rest of the world,” he explains.
Having done his post-graduation in economics at Loyola College, Chennai and his MPhil at the St Joseph’s College, Tiruchy, Joe, the son of a seafarer, decided to join the shipping industry and has remained devoted to it now for 26 years.
A former vice president of country’s largest shipping agency, J. M. Baxi & Co and currently president of NTC Logistics in Chennai, he plans to transfer all his rich understanding of the industry to paper and come out with a book on modern day shipping next.