U. R. Ananthamurthy- Writer
Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy was born on 21st of December 1932. He was a contemporary writer and critic in the Kannada language, He was born in Thirtahalli Taluk and is considered as one of the pioneers of the Navya movement. He is the sixth person among eight recipients of the Jnanpith Award for the Kannada language, the highest literary honour conferred in India.In 1998, He received the Padma Bhushan award from the Government of India. He was the vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala during the late 1980s. He was one of the finalists of Man Booker International Prize for the year 2013.
Ananthamurthy was born in Melige, in Tirthahalli taluk in the Shimoga Dist, Karnataka. His primary education started in a traditional Sanskrit school in Doorvasapura and continued to do his studies in Tirthahalli and Mysore. After receiving a Master of Arts degree from the University of Mysore, U. R. Ananthamurthy taught in the English department at University of Mysore for a while before embarking to England for further studies when he got a Commonwealth Scholarship. He earned his doctorate from the University of Birmingham in 1966 for his thesis entitled “Politics and Fiction in the 1930s”. Ananthamurthy started his career as a professor and instructor in 1970 in English department of University of Mysore. He was the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam, Kerala from 1987 to 1991. He served as the Chairman of National Book Trust India for the year 1992. Then in 1993 he was elected as the president of SahityaAcademy. He served as a visiting professor in many renowned Indian and foreign universities including JawaharlalNehruUniversity, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, University of Iowa, TuftsUniversity and ShivajiUniversity. Ananthamurthy served twice as the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India. In 2012 he was appointed the first Chancellor of Central University of Karnataka.
Ananthamurthy has participated and delivered lectures in numerous seminars as writer and orator both in and outside the country. He was the member of the committee of Indian writers and visited countries like the Soviet Union, Hungary, France and West Germany in 1990. He visited Moscow in 1989 as board member for a Soviet newspaper. Ananthamurthy was the leader for the committee of writers who visited China in 1993.Ananthamurthy’s works have been translated into several Indian and European languages and have been awarded with important literary prizes.His main works include Samskara, Bhava, Bharathi Pura, and Avasthe. He has written numerous short stories as well. Several of his novels and short fictions have been made into movies. Most of Ananthamurthy’s literary works deal with psychological aspects of people in different situations, times and circumstances. His writings supposedly analyse aspects ranging from challenges and changes faced by Brahmin families of Karnataka to bureaucrats dealing with politics influencing their work.
Most of his novels are on reaction of individuals to situations that are unusual and artificial. Results of influences of socio-political and economic changes on traditional Hindu societies of India and clashes due to such influences – between a father and a son, husband and wife, father and daughter and finally, the fine love that flows beneath all such clashes are portrayed by Ananthamurthy in his works. This is evident in his stories like Sooryana Kudure, Mowni, Karthika’ etc. His novelette “Bara” portrays the dynamics of a drought-stricken district of Karnataka and the challenges and dilemmas a bureaucrat may face in such situations. His several novels were made into films like Samskara, Bara, Avaste, Mouni, Diksha. U. R. Ananthamurthy met his future wife Esther in 1954 and they were married in 1956. They had two children, Sharat and Anuradha. He resided in Bangalore for most of his later life.The idea proposed by Ananthamurthy to rename ten cities in Karnataka including Bengaluru from their colonial forms to actual native forms was accepted by Government of Karnataka and the cities were renamed on the occasion of golden jubilee celebrations of formation of Karnataka. Ananthamurthy died of cardiac arrest on 22 August 2014 at ManipalHospital, in Bangalore, He was 81. He had been suffering from kidney related disease for some years, and was undergoing dialysis treatment, He also suffered from diabetes and heart problem.
- 1984: Rajyothsava Award
- 1994: Jnanpith Award
- 1998: Padma Bhushan
- 2004: Sahitya Akademi Fellowship
- 2008: Nadoja Award by KannadaUniversity
- 2011: Shortlisted for The Hindu Literary Prize
- 2012 D. Litt. Honoris Causa of the University of Calcutta
- 2013: Nominated, Man Booker International Prize
Short story collections :
Collection of poems:
- 15 Padyagalu
- Ajjana hegala sukkugalu
Literary criticism and essays :
- Prajne mathu Parisara
- Valmikiya Nevadalli
- Maatu Sotha Bharatha
- Sadya Mattu Shashvata