Ponneelan is a much-admired Tamil writer renowned for his novels, short story collections, biographies, critical essays, and translations. His novel Pudhiya Dharisanangal won the 1994 Sahitya Akademi Award for Tamil. In 2016 it was translated as New Dharshans by S. Nagarajan and published by Sahitya Akademi. His other major novel was Marupakkam considered as his lifetime achievement which delves into the complexities of the Mandaikkadu riot of his region. Karisal was his debut novel, published in 1976. Forty-five years later, it continues to remain in print in Tamil.