Regarded as one of the prominent voices of the Navya (modernist) movement in Kannada literature, Dr. U.R. Ananthamurthy wrote six novels (Samskara, Bharatipura, Avasthe, Bhava, Divya and Preethi Mruthyu Mattu Bhaya) and one play (Avahane), apart from eight short story collections, three collections of poetry and eight compilations of essays in his literary career spanning six decades. His autobiography Suragi was published in 2012.
His landmark first novel Samskara looks at the caste system, religious codes, culture and traditions and the uncertain relationship between traditional and cultural values. The novel, which sparked a raging controversy, was made into a film.
Dr. Ananthamurthy was also shortlisted for DSC Prize for South Asian literature in 2012 for his novel Bharatipura (1973). He was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013 for his overall contribution to fiction.
Gopalkrishna Gandhi pays tribute
In his tribute to the litterateur, former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi said, “U.R. Ananthamurthy was a modern rishi with the authority of that position but without its baneful sanctimony. In his uncompromising opposition to every manner of narrow illiberalism he became a beacon of sanity and courage in our prejudiced times.”