V.K.N.’ or VKN (abbreviated from his full name Vadakkke Koottala Narayanankutty Nair) (6 April 1932 – 25 January 2004) was a pathbreaking and celebrated Malayalam writer, noted mainly for his high-brow satire.Apart from novels, he wrote short stories and political commentaries. A native of Kerala in south India, his works are considered distinctive for their multi-layered humour, trenchant criticism of the socio-political classes and uncanny ability to twist the meanings of words contextually, thus lend a touch of magic to his language (which, at times, was English too).

Born on 6 April 1932, in Thiruvilwamala in Thrissur district, VKN, after completing his matriculation, joined the Malabar Devaswom Board and worked there for 9 years. Like a good number of modern Malayalam writers like O. V. Vijayan, VKN spent many years in New Delhi (from 1959 to 1969) as an English journalist. The experiences he gained during these years that also coincided with the nascent post-independent India finds a recreation in one of his most heralded work, Pitamahan (The Great Grandfather). He entered Malayalam literature in 1955.

Content from wikipedia

Manoramaonline feature about VKN by Sreejith Ezhuthachan



  • Arohanam (VKN himself translated this work into English with the title Bovine Bugles)
  • Pithamahan
  • Adhikaram
  • Anantharam
  • Asuravani
  • Penpada
  • Kaavi
  • General Chathans
  • Manchal
  • Syndicate

Short stories

  • Payyan Kathakal
  • Sir Chathuvinte Ruling
  • Hajyaru
  • Mananchira Test
  • V. K. N. Kathakal
  • Ambathu Kathakal
  • Oru Nooru Mini Kathakal
  • Ayyaayiravum Kooppum
  • Naanuaru
  • Payyan
  • Kaalaghattathile Payyan
  • Mandahasam
  • Cleopatra
  • Payyante Samaram
  • Payyante Rajavu


  • 1969: Kerala Sahitya Academy Award; (for Arohanam)
  • 1978: MP Paul Award; (for overall contribution in Malayalam short story)
  • 1982: Kendra Sahitya Academy Award; (for Payyan Kathakal)
  • 1987: Religious Harmony Award; (instituted by the Organisation of Understanding and Fraternity, New Delhi
  • 1997: Muttathu Varkey Award; (for Pitamahan)
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