Want to know Best Malayalam Books in India? Well you have landed on the right article. The Malayalam language is a member of the South Dravidian subgroup of its language family.
It is mostly spoken in India, and Kerala and the union territory of Lakshadweep both recognise it as their official languages.
Either a western Tamil dialect or a Proto-Dravidian language has given rise to this one.
In India, the book publishing sector has expanded in recent years. Kerala’s industry has experienced tremendous growth.
The writers include academics, authorities, and artists who cover everything from classical theology to biblical studies.
The business has been able to provide inexpensive and essential Malayalam books by fusing academic brilliance with cutting-edge technology.
Here are some of the famous malayalam books:-
Best Malayalam Books in India (Updated 2023)
Table of content
- Author: LALITHAMBIKA ANTHARJANAM
- Publisher: DC Books; 21st Edition (1 January 1920)
Lalithambika Antharjanam, a social reformer best known for her literary works in Malayalam, wrote extensively about the role of women in society and how cultural rules frequently became a barrier for a woman to express her uniqueness.
Lalithambika, who is more known for her poetry and short tales, only wrote one novel, Agnisakshi, which she completed in her latter years.
The book has earned the distinction of being a classic of Malayalam literature after winning the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award and the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award.
The tale is built around three characters—Thethikutty, Thankam Nair, and Unni Namboodiri—and provides insight into the Namboodiri society of Kerala.
As they move through various stages of life, they weave together themes like choice, detachment, renunciation, love, and devotion. Vasanthi Sankaranarayanan, an art critic, translated the book into English in 1980.
2. Oru Desathinte Katha
- Author: S K Pottekkatt
- Publisher: DC Books
One of the greatest works by author S. K. Pottekkatt is Oru Desathinte Katha (The Story of a Locale), which won the Jnanpith Award in 1980 as well as the Kendra Sahitya Award in 1973.
The story, which takes place over the course of 55 years and is set in the village of Athiranippdam, takes the readers on a trip that starts there and ends in North India, Africa, and Switzerland.
The protagonist draws inspiration from the author himself for his persona in what is thought to be a fictionalised autobiography.
The author skillfully spins a tale that combines documented history, fairy tales, and rumours from the streets.
The novel’s different characters and situations end up giving readers a sensation of déjà vu—of individuals they have met, conversations they have had, places they have visited, and people they may know.
This book evokes nostalgia and desire in the readers. Tales of Athiranippdam, an English translation by Sreedevi K. Nair and Radhika P. Menon, was released in 2013.
3. Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerangalil
- Author: M MUKUNDAN
- Publisher: DC Books; 55th Edition (1 January 1920)
The story, which is set in the former French colony of Mayyazhi or Mahe, is a mash-up of glimmering French grandeur and rustic native myths and tales.
It depicts a time of transition when people were still caught up in the trappings of colonialism.
In his masterwork Mayyazhippuzhayude Theerangalil, M. Mukundan, one of Kerala’s most renowned writers, weaves a narrative of love, frustration, and decay against the picturesque background of the Arabian Sea and the Mayyazhi river.
As the story travels through the struggles of two families who are friends but completely at odds with one another, one journeys back in time as the spectre of the territory’s independence movement permeates the story.
The English translation of On the Banks of the Mayyazhi by Gita Krishnankutty successfully captures the essence of Mukundan’s story and holds the reader’s attention just as well as the original.
- Author: Benyamin
- Publisher: Green Books (2008)
Aatujeevitham (Life of a Goat), authored by Bahrain-based Indian novelist Benyamin, depicts the life of a mistreated migrant worker in Saudi Arabia and was first published in serial form in Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekly.
The story of a Gulf aspirant who, after finally arriving in his ideal world, is forced to live like a slave herding goats in the midst of the Saudi desert is heartbreaking.
A guy experiences severe struggle and loneliness during the course of the story, which is based on true events. This man’s journey leads him to devise a risky plan to escape his desert jail.
Goat Days, an English translation of the book, made it onto the Man Asian Literary Prize long list in 2012 and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature shortlist in 2013.
Aatujeevitham, hailed as one of the best-selling works of modern Malayalam literature, won the Kerala Literary Academy Award in 2009.
The book is also included in the curricula of Pondicherry University, Calicut University, Bharathiar University, and Kerala State’s 10th standard.
- Author: MALAYATTOOR RAMAKRISHNAN
- Publisher: DC BOOKS (1 January 2021)
One of Malayattoor Ramakrishnan’s greatest works is Verukal (Roots), which is said to be semi-autobiographical.
The story, which won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967, centres on a family of Tamil-speaking Iyers who immigrated to Kerala centuries ago.
It highlights the dramatic impact of modernity and how it may destroy one’s roots.
The main character, who had previously lived somewhere else, returns to his hometown only to sell the land that belonged to his ancestors.
Nevertheless, throughout his stay, he finds himself wandering down memory lane and comes to a realisation that serves as the story’s central conflict.
It is a narrative of homecoming that resonates deeply with those who left their hometowns in quest of jobs and other opportunities.
The book known as Roots was translated into English and released in 2002.
- Author: M.T.Vasudevan Nair
- Published : 1 January 1984
One of the most well-known Malayalam masterpieces ever written, this book offers a revisionist account of the epic Mahabharata.
The protagonist, Bhima, is what makes the book an interesting and reflective read.
The book, which is regarded as M.T. Vasudevan Nair’s masterpiece, was honoured with the Muttathu Varkey Award in 1994 and the coveted Vayalar Award, granted for the greatest literary work in Malayalam, in 1985.
Diverging from the cliched story involving divine forces, Randamoozham (Second Turn) gives credit where credit is due to the real designer of the Pandavas’ victory.
The book, which Gita Krishnankutty translated as Bhima: Lone Warrior in 2013, has maintained a cult following in the state and may soon be made into a high-budget feature film.
- Author: K.R. Meera
- Published Date: 1 November 2012
The story is set in Chitpur, Kolkata, and centres on the historic Graddha Mullick family heritage, which is thought to date back four hundred years before the birth of Christ.
The narrative surprise occurs when the final heir is reluctantly given the title—and it’s a woman! They were the ones who controlled fate and had the noose in their hands.
K.R. Meera became one of the top literary authors in Malayalam when the original Aarachaar (An Executioner) won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2013.
This was followed by the Odakkuzhal Award in 2013, the Vayalar Award in 2014, and the Sahitya Akademi Award in 2015. J Devika translated “Hangwoman: Everyone Loves a Good Hanging.”
- Author: Vaikom Muhammad Basheer
- Publication Date: November 2016
Vasikom Muhammad Basheer, often known as Basheer, is one of the greatest authors in Malayalam literature history and is well known for his works Pathummayude Aadu, Mathilukal, and Ntuppuppakkoranendarnnu.
However, it is his Balyakalasakhi (Childhood Friend) that has been able to hold readers’ attention with its straightforward yet heartbreaking tale of two childhood friends who later develop a romantic relationship until fate has other plans.
The tale, which is said to be autobiographical, shows love in its purest form, often the kind that goes unfulfilled.
One of the story’s notable qualities is how the author manages to inject humor—even in the midst of extreme tragedy—while hiding a hint of poignancy in the light narrative style.
9. Khasakkinte Ithihasam
- Author: VIJAYAN O V
- Published: August 1990 By DC Books (First Published November 12th 1969)
Khasakkinte Ithihasam, one of the most iconic books ever written in Malayalam, never ceases to enthral readers with a surrealistic visualisation contained inside the surroundings of a tranquil small town with a microcosm of its own.
It has been reissued more than fifty times, making the book—which is regarded as O.V. Vijayan’s masterpiece—one of the best-selling books in South Asia.
The novel, which is based on a true story about a town named Thasarak in Palakkad, does not have a single straight plot, which makes it all the more compelling as one follows undergrad dropout Ravi on his spiritual journey.
The story starts with the man’s entry into the community and how everything changes after that.
The Legends of Khasak, which was translated by the author himself in 1994, has received praise for its rich character development and original narrative approach, which otherwise would have been reduced to a trite village romance.
- Author: Thakazhi Sivasankara Pillai
- Published: National Book Stall, D. C. Books 1956
Chemmeen (Prawns), one of the most famous cult masterpieces ever written in Malayalam, is a story that revolves on the legend of a married woman’s virginity that is popular among Kerala’s fishing community.
The novel went on to receive the Kendra Sahitya Akademi Award, India’s second highest literary award, in 1957.
It was written with deep emotional depth about the conventions, taboos, moral limits, and everyday examples of the society while slogging through toils of life and existence.
The book was converted into a feature film in 1965 with the same name, which is regarded as one of the best Indian movies ever made.
- Published: August 2008 By Green Books Pvt. Ltd
This is one of the best Malayalam books you should read. This book is about a migrant worker who lived in Saudi Arabia and was subjected to maltreatment.
It was the top seller in Kerala and is based on actual events. More than 100 copies of the original edition had already been printed.
The “Kerala Literacy Academy Award” was also given to this book in 2009.
12. Pathummayude Aadu
- Publisher: DC Books
The characters in this amusing book are members of the author’s family.
His house is the scene of the crime. It is the only significant Basheer work that has never undergone modification since it was first published.
He stated that he is using slang rather than poetic language to write this book.
13. Ente Katha
- Publisher: DC BOOKS; 69th Edition (1 January 2018)
It was written as an autobiography in 1973. She created this tale after being unwell and believing she wouldn’t live.
After the publication of the book, her detractors began to attack her because of how vocal and controversial the book was. In this book, there was a wide variety of fiction.
14. Neermathalam Pootha Kalam
- Publisher: D.C. Books
This book captures the burgeoning recollections of human existence. It is a narrative about the author and his time in school.
It discusses his past experiences up until the age of 14. People were enamoured with this narrative because of the literary production of the book.
15. Oru Sankeerthanam Pole
- Publisher: Sangeerthanam Publications (1 January 2012)
It is a 1993 book on the life of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, a Russian novelist.
It tells the tale of his romance with his then-girlfriend, who subsequently became his wife.
Over the course of 24 years, this book sold more than two lakh copies, surpassing its 100th edition and winning several accolades.
One of the most significant languages used in India is Malayalam, according to some. Additionally, Kerala’s book publishing sector has been expanding for a while.
The industry has been able to create enduring relationships by fusing technology and strong writing talents.
Their primary focus has always been on this. Not only that, but for the convenience of the public, the business has been offering inexpensive books.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Which is the number one Malayalam novel?
Aadujeevitham by Benyamin. This is a one of the must read top Malayalam novels.
Q2. Which are the best Malayalam novels?
The first major novel in Malayalam was Indulekha and was written by O. Chandhu Menon. It was a landmark in the history of Malayalam literature.
Q3. Who speaks pure Malayalam?
Malayalam has official language status in Kerala, and Puducherry (Mahé), and is also the primary spoken language of Lakshadweep, and is spoken by 34 million people in India.
Here are some the list of famous Malayalam novels:-