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Karichan Kunju

R. NARAYANASWAMI (1919-1992) is better known by his pen name Karichan Kunju. He considered himself a protégé of the Tamil writer K. P. Rajagopalan, who wrote under the pseudonym Karichan-Tamil for the bird drongo. To honour his literary mentor, Narayanaswami wrote under the pen name Karichan Kunju, or the drongo’s chick.

From eight to fifteen years of age Kunju studied Hindi and the Vedas in Bengaluru. He pursued higher studies in Hindi and Tamil at Rameshwara Vedasthana Patashala in Madurai and then worked as a Tamil teacher in Chennai, Mannargudi and Kumbakonam for a few years.

Kunju has an oeuvre of over hundred short stories. He also released ten short-story volumes, two novellas and dramas each, and essays titled Bharati’s Search and Discovery (1982) and Ku Pa Ra (1990). Pasitha Manidam (1978) was his only novel. He translated important works from English, Sanskrit and Hindi into Tamil, besides translating works of Tamil into other languages. He has contributed richly to Tamil literature and culture by exposing the vicious hierarchies of ancient temple towns.

Karichan Kunju was the second son of Ramamrutha Sastri and Janaki Ammal. He is survived by four daughters-Lakshmi Baby, Prabhavati, Vijayal and Santha

Books by the author

Hungry Humans

Hungry Humans

Karichan Kunju
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