Award Name : Sahitya Akademi Award
Year of Award : 1985
Award for : Literature
Location : Trichūr, Kerala, India
Kamala Surayya / Suraiyya formerly known as Kamala Das , (also known as Kamala Madhavikutty, pen name was Madhavikutty) was a major Indian English poet and littérateur and at the same time a leading Malayalam author from Kerala, India. Her popularity in Kerala is based chiefly on her short stories and autobiography, while her oeuvre in English, written under the name Kamala Das, is noted for the fiery poems and explicit autobiography. Kamala Das was born in Punnayurkulam, Thrissur District in Kerala, on March 31, 1934, to V. M. Nair, a former managing editor of the widely-circulated Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi, and Nalappatt Balamani Amma, a renowned Malayali poetess. At the age of 15, she got married to bank officer Madhava Das, who encouraged her writing interests, and she started writing and publishing both in English and in Malayalam. Calcutta in the 1960s was a tumultous time for the arts, and Kamala Das was one of the many voices that came up and started appearing in cult anthologies along with a generation of Indian English poets.
Her popular Malayalam works are Pakshiyude Manam, Naricheerukal Parakkumbol, Neermathalam Pootha Kalam, Madhavikkuttiyude Unmakkadhakal, Vandikkalakal, Palayan, Balyakala Smaranakal, Varshangalkku Mumbu, Chandana Marangal, Neypayasam, Dayarikkurippukal and Chekkerunna Pakshikal. Her major English works include The Sirens for which she Asian Poetry Prize in 1965 and Summer in Calcutta for which she won Kent's Award in the following year. Her other English works are Yaa Allah, Only the Soul Knows How to Sing, Tonight, The Descendants, This Savage Rite (with Pritish Nandy), My Mother At Sixty-six, My Grandmother House, Padmavati the Harlot and Other Stories, The Anamalai Poems, Alphabet of Lust, My Story (autobiography) and The Old Playhouse and Other Poems. Apart from being nominated for Nobel Prize, she has won many awards and designations as well. Kerala Sahitya Academy Award in 1969 for Thanuppu, Sahitya Academy Award – 1985, Honorary D.Litt by University of Calicut – 2006, Ezhuthachan Puraskaram – 2009, Muttathu Varkey Award – 2006 and above all Award of Asian PEN anthology – 1964.