Vasudhendra (India)


Born in Sandur in Ballari district, Karnataka, Vasudhendra’s literary career had a dream start. His first book, Nammamma Andre Nangishta, a collection of short stories won him the Sahitya Akademi award in 2006. His early works were built on his own life experiences – they dealt with his growing-up years in the small town of Sandur, near Bellary, and the urbanization of the mining town where rapacious commerce was bringing in wealth but also drastically changing human relationships. His later works came during his stints abroad. His famous book “Mohanaswamy” was first published by Vivek Shanbhag in his Kannada literary magazine Desha Kala under a pseudonym, Shanmukha S. The story as Shanbhag says was fascinating and not because it spoke of gay love but the central aspect of ‘love and longing’ was well beyond the social and anatomical construct. Its emotional energy is very high because it has autobiographical undertones. Vasudhendra now runs his own publication house, Chanda Pustaka, which publishes and encourages new writing in Kannada and has instituted the Chanda Pustaka Award which recognizes young short story writers. He is also associated with local support groups for LGBT individuals. The author of thirteen books in Kannada, that have sold over 80,000 copies, Vasudhendra has won many literary awards, including the Kannada Sahitya Academy Book Prize, the Da Raa Bendre Story Award and the Dr U.R. Ananthamurthy Award. Vasudhendra has been hailed as the next Masti Venkatesha Iyengar of Kannada literature.