Speak, memory...

The iconic M T Vasudevan Nair, one of the most illustrious writers and filmmakers in modern Kerala has a new book out from Viva.

To readers in English, Bear With Me Mother, a book of memoirs and stories, offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a literary master who recollects the people, places and ideas that inspired his stories. Featured in this collection are anecdotes, accounts of journeys, a homage, meditations on the literary craft, personal photographs and such classic stories as ‘The Soul of Darkness’ and ‘Elder Sister Oppol’.

Born in July 1933 in Kudallur, Kerala, MT was the youngest of four brothers. He began to write very early in life, and his short story ‘Valarthumrigangal", written while he was a student at Victoria College, Palakkad, won the first prize in the World Short Story Competition conducted by the New York Herald Tribune. He went on to win several literary awards, including the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Kaalam (1970); three Kerala Sahitya Akademi Awards: one for the novel Naalukettu (1959), the second for the play Gopuranadayil (1978) and the third for the short story ‘Swargam Thurakkunna Samayam’ (1981). He was given the prestigious Jnanpith Award in 1995.

Chronicling the decadence of a magnificent and uninterrupted agrarian civilization in the lush countryside of central Kerala, his novels and short stories won him the Jnanpith and several central and state Sahitya Akademi awards. MT’s work as screenwriter and director is Indian cinema at its finest: Vasudevan Nair has been associated with Malayalam cinema since 1965. He has directed six feature films, three documentaries and a television serial. He has written forty-one screenplays, and many films based on his screenplays have won national and state awards. His first film, Nirmalyam, which was written, produced and directed by him, won the President’s Gold Medal in 1973. He won the National Award for the best screenplay thrice: for Oru Vadakkan Veeratha in 1989, Sadayam in 1990 and Parinayam in 1994, and the National Award for the best film twice: Kadavu in 1991 and Oru Cheru Punchiri in 2000. He was conferred the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in 2005.

In our Indian Literature in Translation section, Rs 295, in paperback, 352 pages. ISBN 9788130909608