Dr. Kamala Das, also known as Madhavikutty (her pen name) is an internationally renowned poet, short story writer and novelist.
She was born on March 31 1934, at Punnayoorkulam, Kerala. She is one of the few writers from Kerala, who used to write smoothly both in English and Malayalam, with high standards. In fact, she was one of the most influential feminist writers. Her language exhibited liveliness and imaginative suggestions.
She started writing in Malayalam under the pen name, Madhavikutty during 1950's. However, she rose to fame in the Malayalam literary world with her work, 'Ente Katha' (My Story), which is said to be her real life story. 'Ente Katha' was translated to more than 15 Foreign Languages. She is a very open-minded and self-righteous women, who portrays emotions, love and lust in her works. Her works have a touch of originality in their content and style.
She has held quite integral positions as the Vice Chair Person, Kerala Sahitya Academy; Chairperson, Kerala Forestry Board; and worked as an Editor in the Poet magazine and Illustrated Weekly of India.
Madhavikutty was often criticized for her openness and her reluctance to live according to the societies norms. Her new name is Dr. Kamala Suraiyya. She had also created a political party of her own namely, “Lok Seva Charitable Trust”, to concentrate on humanitarian work as well as to provide asylum to orphaned mothers.
For her literary contributions, she has received many awards for her literary contribution. Some of them are; Asian Poetry Prize for her work "The Sirens"; Kent Award for English Writing from Asian Countries for "Summer in Calcutta", Asian World Prize; Sahitya Academy Award for "Collected Poems" in English; Vayalar Rama Varma Sahitya Award, Kerala Sahitya Academy Award for best short story "Thanuppu".
At an age of 75, she died in the hospital in Pune, on 31st May, 2009.