Thiruvananthapuram: Writer and social activist P Vatsala won the prestigious Ezhuthachan Purakaram, the highest literary honor awarded by the Kerala Sahitya Akademi, for her contributions in the field of literature.
She is only the fourth woman to receive the award after its creation in 1993. The other winners are Kamala Surayya (in 2002), Sugathakumari (in 2009) and Ms. Leelavathi (in 2010).
Vatsala is the author of 25 short story collections and 17 novels, all in Malayalam.
His works have won several awards including the Kumkumam Award (for Nellu published in 1972), the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award (for Nizhalurangunna Vazhikal), the Muttathu Varkey Prize and the CV Kunhiraman Memorial Sahitya Prize.
The former director, P Vatsala also served as President of Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
For the 28th year, the jury included President of Sahitya Akademi Vaishakhan, Dr B Iqbal, Alankode Leela Krishnan, KEN Kunhahmed and Principal Secretary of the Department of Culture Rani George.
Commenting on the award, Minister of Culture Saji Cherian said that “P Vatsala deserved it for his important contributions in the field of literature”.
Ezhuthachan Purakaram is named after Thunchaththu Ezhuthachan, the father of the Malayalam language.
This award consists of a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs and a quote.
Writer-researcher Sooranad PN Kunjan Pillai (1911-1995) was the first recipient of the Ezhuthachan Purakaram (in 1993).
Last year the award was won by famous writer Paul Zacharia.