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Category: Literature

Benyamin Profile

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Benyamin Biography

Benyamin is an Indian writer who writes in Malayalam, best known as a fictional writer. In 2018 his acclaimed novel Jasmine Days won the newly instituted JCB Prize for Literature in India. With a total sum of 25 lakhs, it’s the highest amount given to any literal prize in India, and Benyamin received the honour of becoming its first recipient. He is also an acclaimed writer whose novel, Aadujeevitham received Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009. The book later translated to English as Goat Days was shortlisted at 2013 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and also long listed at 2012 Man Asian Literary Prize. He is also a recipient of Padmaprabha Literary Award in 2015.


Benny Daniel was born in Kulanada of Pathanamthitta district, Kerala. He was born in the year 1971. For work, he moved to Bahrain in 1992. Interestingly till then, the only book he knew was Holy Bible. But later he went on to write 17 books, including the humongous bestseller, Goat Days and the recent JCB Prize winner, Jasmine Days. After writing many books, in 2008 Daniel’s life as a writer changed with Aadujeevitham. The book won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009, was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and longlisted for the Man Asian Literature Prize. There was no turning back after that.


After working for many years in the Middle East, he finally returned to his hometown in Kerala, where he continues with his writings. His 2011 novel, Manjaveyil Maranangal, which has sold over 40,000 copies, was translated into English as Yellow Lights of Death. Many of his works have been translated to English language, which helped him to reach with readers globally. The second child of Daniel, a taxi driver, and Ammini, a homemaker, he did a diploma course in mechanical engineering from a polytechnic in Coimbatore, and he flew to Bahrain at the age of 21, and worked there many decades.

Published: March 01, 2019

Updated: March 01, 2019


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