Contemporary Indian writer, and University of Birmingham alumnus U.R. Ananthamurthy is celebrating being shortlisted for a Man Booker Prize in 2012 with his novel Bharatipura.

Dr Ananthamurthy graduated in 1966 with a PhD in English and has since enjoyed an illustrious career; he is one of only eight authors to be awarded a Jnanpith Award for the Kannada language which is spoken by about 50 million people in India and elsewhere. He has won various other awards and is currently the chancellor at Central University of Karnataka in India.

Dr Ananthamurthy said “I’m delighted to be shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. After graduating from the University of Birmingham, I became a professor of English and then later the Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University. As a writer I was given a Jnanpith Award, the highest national literary honour conferred in India, and then later the President of India awarded me with a Padma Bhushan.

My teachers at Birmingham left a deep impression on me. All my writings bear a trace of their influence and the seminars were most helpful in developing my creative ability to respond in Indian society. I owe it to the ambience of the University, where I met great minds, who were leaders in their fields, which really helped me to progress in my discipline. One of my favourite memories of studying at the University of Birmingham was the tutorials and discussions in the nearby pub!

Dr Ananthamurthy has published five novels, one play, eight short-story collections, three collections of poetry and his works have been translated into several Indian and European languages.
On his current position, he states “I am now the Chancellor at the Central University of Karnataka. Although my position is an honorary one, one of my favourite things about this role is the dialogues and discussions about how to develop the Central University of Karnataka.

Dr Ananthamurthy is one of many successful graduates from the University of Birmingham that are having a remarkable impact on society. If you would like to tell us how your career has progressed from your study with us, please e-mail