Thiruvananthapuram: Novelist T.D. Ramakrishnan, the winner of this year's Vayalar Award, is known for the blending myth, contemporary realities and history with subtle political overtones. Mr Ramakrishnan, born in 1961 as the son of Narayanan Elayath and Sreedevi Antharjanam, retired as the deputy chief controller from the Southern Railway. His first novel, Francis Ittykora had put together various geographical locations from Kerala, Florence and Greece to narrate a story interconnecting the rituals of the fictitious secret society, ‘pathinettam koottukar’; the history of Kerala School of Mathematics; a secret cannibal club; Greek mathematician Hypatia and Francis Ittycora, the 15th century pepper merchant from Kunnamkulam.
The story of his novel Alpha is set in an imaginative island called Alpha, somewhere near Sri Lanka, and narrates the story of an experiment undertaken by a professor and scientist of Anthropology Upalendu Chatterjee who believes that human brain has evolved in such a way that even if all information and apparatus currently available to humanity is removed, it will be able to regain or invent whatever is required to lead a comfortable life within 25 years.
A real-life incident —the death of Rajani Thiranagama, a prominent Sri Lankan human rights activist gunned down by LTTE in 1989 — forms the core of his award winning novel Suganthiyenna Andal Devanayaki. The novel captures the pain and struggles of a common man who gets caught in the violence. The novel narrates how women are crushed within the camp of liberation and revolution. The novel narrates how identity discourses are transformed to ideological extremism resulting in unnecessary enmity and genocide.