Sundara Ramasamy (1931—2006), known as Su.Ra in literary circles, is one of the giants of Tamil modern literature. Sundara Ramaswamy: was born on 30th May 1931, in Thazhuviya MahadevarKovil, a village in Nagercoil).
He wrote poetry under the penname Pasuvayya. His poetry collection “Nadunisi Naaykal (Dogs at midnight) created waves in Tamil creative world. All his poems are edited in the name of 107 kavithaigal(107 poems).
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- “Oru Puliya Marathin Kathai” (The Story of a Tamarind Tree),
- “J.J Silakuripukal” (J.J: Some Jottings, tr, A.R Venkadachalapathy, Katha, 2004)
- “Kuzhanthaikal, Penkal, Aankal” (Children, Women, Men).
His talent manifests itself uniquely through his novels. Oru Puliamarathin Kathai (The Story of a Tamarind Tree, 1966), his first novel, was well received as a work that proved to be a new experience both in form and content, extending the frontiers of Tamil novel and creating new perspectives.
He gave up active writing for nearly six years; and when he began again in 1973, he had gone far beyond executing an interesting and agile narration. He still remained a stylist, but his concerns took new directions and his language acquired a solid texture, retaining a powerful and pointed humour.
Oru Puliamarathin Kathai has been translated into English (Tale of a Tamarind Tree, Penguin India, New Delhi), Hindi (Imli Puran, Nilakant Prakashan, New Delhi), Malayalam (Oru Puliyamarathinte Katha, D.C.Books, Kottayam) and into Hebrew language (by Ronit Ricci, Hakibbutz Hameuchaud Publishing House, Tel Aviv).
He wrote well appreciated short stories. Some of his most famous short stories are Pallaku Thookikal, Pakkathil Vantha Appa and Rathnabayin Angilam. At the end of his life time his “Pillai keduthaal vilai” received tamil literary world’s attention in large.
Sundara Ramasamy’s short stories are well acclaimed for their taut structure, subtle psychological observations and a subtle sense of humour. He predominantly followed a realistic narrative pattern in his fiction. An omnibus collection of his stories is available as “Kaakangal”(Crows).
He translated two malayalam novels into Tamil.
- Thottiyin magan (Thagazhi Sivasangara Pillai)
- Chemmeen(Thagazhi Sivasangara Pillai)
His collection of critical essays, “Aazhamum Virivum Thedi” (In Search of Depth and Wideness) gives a peek into his razor-sharp views on literature and awesome critical acumen.
The famous literary meetings which were conducted by Su.Ra in the name “Kaakangal” (Crows) in his house “Sundara Vilas” was the starting point for many of the healthy literature discussions in Modern Tamil literature space.
He edited and published a notable literary magazine called “Kalachuvadu”.
He was the mentor of writers like B. Jeyamohan, Lakshmi Manivannan and more.
Su. Ra received Katha Choodamani award on January 2, 2004.
He died on 15-October, 2006 in USA.