The novel form of Tamil literature has been in existence only since around two centuries.
Before that, the poetry form used to rule the roost for nearly two thousand years. Novel is a relatively new genre in Tamil literature but is very popular among the Tamil novel readers. The novel format was made popular by legendary writers like Kalki Krishnamurthy, Vai. Mu. Kothainayaki, Lakshmi, Na. Parthasarathy etc. The novel form has given us several others. The historic novels by Kalki, Akilan, Sandilyan and Na. Parthasarathy were enjoyed by the Tamil readers for their skillful depiction of the historic, social and cultural aspects of the bygone era. These novels are no less than priceless treasures for the Tamil people of even successive generations. Here is a bird’s eye view of some of the famous historic novels.
Historical novels by Kalki
Ponniyin Selvan is a novel set in the Chola period and brings out the social and political situation that prevailed during that era. The imaginary characters and events blend well into the historic events. He could even blend humour and satire into the actual events. His description of the kings and the wars they fought and their aspirations and dreams for their country and people. The stories were full of twists and turns that captured the imagination of the reading public. Sivagamiyin Sabhatham is his masterpiece, romantic novel set in the Pallava dynasty’s reign over south India. Parthiban Kanavu is the story of Chola prince Vikkiraman who fulfills the dream of his father Parthiban, the Chola king to re-establish the Chola kingdom and freeing it from the Pallava ruler Narasimha Varma Pallavan.