The News Minute | April 9, 2015 | 11:00 am ISTProlific tamil writer Jayakanthan (81) passed away on Wednesday, after a prolonged illness. He was suffering with kidney problems and is survived by his wife, two daughters and son. His writing was considered progressive and revolutionary, often credited with changing the face of Tamil literature. His writing focused on economic injustices and social inequality. His writing saw many characters who were marginalized, his work reflecting on their suffering. To this effect, he wrote around 40 novels and novellas and around 200 short stories and essays. Sri Lankan Tamil literary critic K. Sivathamby said that one of the greatest contributions of Jayakanthan was the change he brought about in the “process of thinking” in the Tamil literary world.“He wrote about the subjects not explored by others. He identified the agon, a literary device in Greek tragedy indicating conflict, in the lives of the subaltern and popularised it,” he said, speaking to The Hindu . He had received widespread acknowledgment and appreciation for his work in addition to winning multiple awards. His novel, 'Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal', was made into a film that won him the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1972. He is also the recipient of the Gnana Peeth awards and the Padma Bhushan awards. He also dabbled in the world of cinema and filmmaking. Some of his popular novels, namely Sila Nerangalil Sila Manithargal, Oru Nadigai Nadagam Paarkiral, Yaarukkaga Azhudhaan and Cinemavukku Pona Chithalu were adapted as films. Jayakanthan experimented with film-making when he directed the movies Yarukkaka Azhudhaan, Unnai Pol Oruvan and Paathai Theiryuthu Paar.On the non-fiction side, some of his notable works such as Oru Ilakkiyavaathiyin Arasiyal Anubhavangal (Political experiences of a literary person), Oru Ilakkiyavaathiyin Kalaiyulaga Anubhavangal(Experiences of a literary person in the world of art) and Yosikkum Velayil (While thinking) have won wide acclaim. They are all autobiographical in nature.He was born in 1934 at Manjakuppam in South Arcot district and dropped out of school after Standard V. This led him directly to the office of the Communist Party of India, situated in Chennai. It became the foundation for many of his writing as it imparted to him, knowledge in various fields such as world literature, culture, politics, economics and journalism.