Celebrated Tamil writer Ashokamitran died at the age of 85 in Chennai on Thursday. “He had not been keeping well for a long time. He had perpetual asthma, and was suffering from bronchitis. He passed away around 8 pm,” said Ramakrishnan, one of his sons.
Born in Secunderabad in 1931, Ashokamitran — whose real name is Thyagarajan — moved to Chennai in 1952. He worked in the Tamil film production house Gemini Studios for close to a decade before taking up writing full time in 1966.
He quickly became one of the most influential figures in Tamil literature, publishing over 200 short stories and around two dozen novels and novellas. Much of his writing focused on contemporary life, and contained subtle strokes of satire. Many of his works have been translated into a number of languages such as English, Hindi, Malayalam and Telugu, in addition to some European languages.
He was awarded numerous honours in India and abroad, including the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996 for the short story collection Appavin Snegidhar. His other writings include Thanneer, Mansarovar and 18-vadhu Atchakkodu.