Muttathu Varkey

Muttathu Varkey (Malayalam: മുട്ടത്തുവര്‍ക്കി) (28 April 1913 - 28 May 1989) was a Malayalam novelist, short story writer, and poet from Kerala state, South India.[1][2] Varkey was an exponent of a genre of sentiment-filled romantic fiction known as painkili (janapriya) novel in Malayalam literature.[3]


Varkey was born in Chethipuzha, a small village near Changanassery in Kottayam district, Kerala. He began his career as a school teacher at Saint Berchmans High School, Changanassery. He then took up the job of an accountant in a timber factory. For a brief period, Varkey taught in a Tutorial College run by M. P. Paul. He then joined Deepika newspaper as an associated editor and remained there for next 26 years until his retirement in 1974.

Literary career

Muttathu Varkey emerged as one of the popular writers of Malayalam fiction.[4] He along with Kanam EJ was prominent in popularizing a genre of sentiment-filled pulp fiction known as painkili novel in Malayalam literature.[5] He was a prolific writer and has penned a total of 132 books, including 65 novels. The rest of his works include collections of short stories, plays, and poetry. Many of his novels were adapted into Malayalam films,[6] including the Prem Nazir starrer Padatha Painkili (1957), Inapravukal (1965), Velutha Kathreena (1968), and Mayiladum Kunnu (1972) and the Sathyan starrer Karakanakadal (1971) and Akkarapacha (1972).

Selected works

Muttathu Varkey Award

Main article: Muttathu Varkey Award

Muttathu Varkey Foundation has instituted the Muttathu Varkey Award to be presented yearly to Malayalm writers. The winner is selected by popular vote with final decisions made by prominent judges.[7] The prominent winners of the award include, O. V. Vijayan (1992), Vaikom Muhammad Basheer (1993), M. T. Vasudevan Nair (1994), Kovilan (1995), Kakkanadan (1996), VKN (1997), M. Mukundan (1998), Punathil Kunhabdulla (1999), Anand (2000), N. P. Mohammed (2001), Ponkunnam Varkey (2002), Sethu (2003), C. Radhakrishnan (2004), Zacharia (2005), Kamala Surayya (2006), T. Padmanabhan (2007), M. Sukumaran (2008), N.S. Madhavan (2009), P. Valsala (2010), Sarah Joseph (2011), N Prabhakaran (2012) and C. V. Balakrishnan (2013) [8]


  1. Muttathu Varkey at
  2. George, K. M. (1968). A survey of Malayalam literature. Asia Pub. House.
  3. Ancy Bay 2015. "At the End of the Story: Popular Fiction, Readership and Modernity in Literary Malayalam", in Satheese Chandra Bose and Shiju Sam Varughese (eds.). Kerala Modernity: Ideas, Spaces and Practices in Transition, Hyderabad: Orient Blackswan, pp. 92-108.
  4. Azhikode, Sukumar (1972). Malayalam short stories: an anthology. Kerala Sahitya Akademi. ISBN 978-0-471-92452-4.
  5. Vijayakumar, B. (13 January 2013). "Old is Gold: Inapravukal (1965)". The Hindu. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  6. "PAADATHA PAINKILI 1957". The Hindu. 14 February 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
  7. "Muttathu Varkey award for Zacharia". The Hindu. 29 April 2005. Retrieved 2009-05-17.
  8. "Sarah Joseph wins Muttathu Varkey Award". Malayala Manorama. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 2 May 2011.

External links

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