Award-winning Malayalam writer P Valsala passed away on the night of Tuesday, November 21, at age 85. She was admitted to the KMCT Medical College, Mukkam, with age-related ailments. According to reports, the cause of her death was cardiac arrest. Valsala was a teacher-cum-writer, who has bagged several accolades, including the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, Ezhuthachan Puraskaram, and Muttathu Varkey Award.
Valsala was born in August 1938 and was widely known for her unique writing style. She wrote nearly 25 short story collections and 17 novels in her career, with the more prominent of her works being Nellu, Nizhalurangunna Vazhikal, Agneyam, and Venal, and Nizhalurangunna Vazhikal won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award and in 2021.
P Valsala won the Ezhuthachan Puraskaram –the highest literary award by Kerala Sahithya Academy – and she was the fourth woman to receive the award after Kamala Surayya (2002), Sugathakumari (2009) and M Leelavathi (2010). In 2010, she served as the chairperson of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi.
Thiruvananthapuram MP and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor condoled her demise by saying, “Sad to learn of the passing of Malayalam novelist, short story writer, and social activist P. Vatsala yesterday at the age of 85. Her prolific output (over 25 short story collections and 17 novels) have endured and her writing made a profound impact on generations of Malayalis. Om Shanti.”
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan also expressed condolences. He said that Valsala was a remarkable writer who wrote stories about the sufferings of marginalised people, adding that her literary work was deeply intertwined with the progressive political and literary movements of Kerala. “The novels Nellu, Agneyam, and Koomankolli have a special place in the history of literature,” the CM said, noting that her demise is an irreparable loss to the progressive political and literary movements of Kerala.