Award Name : Jnanpith Award
Year of Award : 1999
Award for : Literature
Location : Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, India
Nirmal Verma was a Hindi writer, novelist, activist and translator, often credited as pioneer of ‘Nayi Kahani’ literary movement of Hindi literature. Nirmal Verma was born on 3 April 1929 in Shimla. His brother Ram Kumar is also a well known artist. He published his first short story during 1950’s in Student’s magazine. He did M.A. in History from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. It was during that time when he seriously started writing and published in magazines as well. In 1947-48, he regularly attended Mahatma Gandhiji's morning prayer meetings in Delhi though he belonged to Communist party. The activism was well reflected in many of his works later.
His first collection of stories, ‘Parinde’ was written in ‘Nayi kahani’ mode. For his contributions to Hindi literature he was awarded Jnanpith in the year 1999. He shared this award with Gurdial Singh of Punjabi literature the same year. Apart from short stories he has also written travelogues, essays, five novels, eight short-story collections and nine books of non-fiction. His major short story anthologies are - 'Parinde' (Birds) (1959), Jalti Jhari (1965), Beech Bahas Mein (1973), Meri Priya Kahanian (1973), Pratinidhi Kahaniyan (1988), Kavve aur Kala Pani (1983), Sookha aur Anya Kahaniyan (1995) and Dhage (2003). His single play is titled Teen Ekant written in the year 1976. His essays and criticism include - Shabda aur Smriti (1976), Kala Ka Jokhima (1981), Dhundha Se Uthati Dhun, Dhalan se Utarate Huye and Bharat Aur Europe: Pratishruti Ke Kshetra (1991). His major novels are Ve Din-His first novel, Ek Chithara Sukh (1979) and Raat ka Reporter (1989).