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Vijayan, O. V.


Subject Imperial, Colonial, and Postcolonial History » Postcolonial History

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781444334982.2016.x


Oottupulackal Velukutty Vijayan (1930–2005) was a respected cartoonist, translator, short-story writer, and columnist, in addition to being one of the most gifted novelists of India. His very first novel Khasakkinte Itihasam , written in Malayalam, catapulted him to cult status in Keralite literary circles. Although Vijayan was never to repeat the runaway success of Khasak again, the audacity, depth, integrity, and vision of his creative and critical output, has secured him pride of place among the literary greats not only of Kerala but of modern India. O. V. Vijayan was born on July 2, 1930 to middle-class Ezhava Malayali parents, Kamalakshi Amma and O. Velukutty, in Palakkad district, Kerala. Vijayan's father was an official in the Malabar police force of British India. Partly because of the lack of good schools in the locality where his father's unit was stationed, and partly because of his poor health, Vijayan was mostly privately tutored in the early years. Vijayan went on to graduate from Victoria College, Palakkad, and to obtain a postgraduate degree in English from Presidency College, Chennai. Subsequently, Vijayan tried his hand at teaching for a while, but found the profession unsuitable. By this time, he was an active member of the Communist Party of India and on the advice of a senior comrade, Vijayan set out for Delhi to explore a career in journalism. Vijayan began ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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