Noted Malayalam writer Paul Zacharia has been selected for this year’s Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, the highest literary honour by the Kerala government. The award, which is named after Ezhuthachan, the father of Malayalam language, carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh, a citation, and a plaque. Culture Minister AK Balan said in a release that Paul was chosen for the award for his contributions to Malayalam literature and thought for the past 50 years.
A five-member jury, headed by Kerala Sahitya Akademi President Vyshakhan, selected him for the award. The award will be presented to the writer by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at the Secretariat on a later date.
Born in Kottayam in 1945, Zacharia is the youngest of three children. He worked as a journalist with various national media organisations. An avid traveller, Zacharia has published travelogues on Africa, England, Saudi Arabia, and China, as well as the Kumbh Mela. He has been the recipient of several awards and honours. Zacharia won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1979 and the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award in 2004.
Some of Paul Zacharia's best known works include Bhaskara Pattelarum Ente Jeevithavum, Oridathu, Oru Nasrani Yuvavum Goulishashthravum, Salaam America and Praise the Lord.
MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted, "Delighted to learn that my friend Paul Zacharia has won Kerala’s highest state literary award, the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram. It’s a richly deserved tribute to his half-century of startlingly original creative writhing and luminous imagination. Congratulations!".