Well-knoWN Malayalam detective novelist Kottayam Pushpanath, who ushered a generation of readers into the world of horror and suspense, died at the age of 80 in Kottayam on Wednesday.
Creator of fictional detectives Marxin and Pushparaj, has authored over hundred detective novels, many of which have been translated into other South Indian languages, apart from being adapted on screen.
Pushpanath is also credited for producing the first genuine detective story in Malayalam.
His first detective novel Chuvanna Mnushyan (the Red Man) was published in Manorajyam weekly in 1968. The weekly had serialised the novel at a time when its market was sagging. Eventually, the demand for the novel had led to Manorajyam’s resurrection.
In the 70s, Pushpanath became a sought-after writer for popular Malayalam weeklies, which survived on pulp fiction and horror stories. Although several other detective novelists appeared in the arena, Pushpanath straddled the stream of fiction in Malayalam. At the peak of his career he churned out 11 novels at a time while juggling with myriad characters every week.
Three years ago, in an interview to a Malayalam publication, Pushpanath said restless readers used to turn up at his doorstep to know what he had wrapped up for the next week.
Pushpanath, who had translated Bram Stoker’s Dracula into Malayalam, went on to pen down three fictions based on Dracula. Cardinalinte Maranam, Nepoleante Prathima, Yakshikavu, London Kottarathile Rahasayangal, Brahmarakshas, Tornado, The Murder and Devil’s Corner are some of his better known works. His novels have been translated into Tamil, Kannada and Telugu.
His son Salim Pushpanath, a renowned photographer and entrepreneur, died in April.