Charu Nivedita (born 18 December 1953) is a postmodern, transgressive Tamil writer, based in Chennai, India. There is an invisible ban on his writings in the Tamil milieu, whereas he is widely translated into Malayalam in nearby Kerala. Since his writings are transgressive in nature, he is branded as a pornographic writer and disliked by many. For a longtime he was writing clandestinely under the pseudonym ‘Muniyandi’. He was born and raised in a slum until the age of eighteen, worked in the government services and survived as a wanderer. His novel Zero Degree was longlisted for the 2013 edition of Jan Michalski Prize for Literature. Zero Degree was inducted into the prestigious '50 Writers, 50 Books - The Best of Indian Fiction', published by HarperCollins. Vahni Capildeo places Charu Nivedita on par with Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce and Jean Genet, in her article in the Caribbean Review of Books. He was selected as one among 'Top Ten Indians of the Decade 2001 - 2010' by The Economic Times. He is inspired by Marquis de Sade and Andal. His columns appear in magazines such as Art Review Asia, The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle.Zero Degree was inducted into the prestigious '50 Writers, 50 Books - The Best of Indian Fiction', edited by Chandra Siddan and Pradeep Sebastian, published by HarperCollins.
He was selected as one among 'Top Ten Indians of the Decade 2001 - 2010' by The Economic Times.
Zero Degree was long-listed for the 2013 edition of Jan Michalski Prize.
Zero Degree was selected as one of the fifteen incredible Indian novels.
The Hindu included him in its list of 'Manathil Pathintha Mugangal 25' (Twenty Five Eminent Personalities of Tamil Nadu) in its Diwali Malar 2014.
Vahni Capildeo places Charu Nivedita on par with Vladimir Nabokov, James Joyce and Jean Genet, in her article in the Caribbean Review of Books.
In his foreword to the Malayalam translation of Zero Degree, Paul Zacharia wrote, "It is like an open experimental laboratory. Amidst the smoke, noxious vapors, and beautiful imagery, I experienced a wondrous journey."
Tarun Tejpal wrote that Zero Degree is remarkable for its experimental voice and its varying and shifting tonalities.
Anil Menon considers Zero Degree bold and ambitious.
Translator Jason Grunebaum considers Zero Degree "wildly exciting".
Charu Nivedita was one of the invitees for the 2010 and 2011 editions of Almost Island Dialogues, New Delhi.
He was one of the invitees for the Hay Festival 2010, Thiruvananthapuram.
Hay Festival 2011, Thiruvananthapuram was inaugurated at the British Deputy High Commission, Chennai by Mike Nithavrianakis, the then Deputy High Commissioner, followed by a reading of an excerpt from Charu Nivedita’s works.
He was one of the invitees for the 2012 edition of Jaipur Literary Festival.
He was felicitated at the Twenty Sixth Anniversary Celebration of Katha, a monthly literary magazine of Sambad (an Odia daily) at Bhubaneswar on 10 February 2013.
He was one of the invitees for the Brahmaputra Literary Festival 2017.
He was one of the panelists in Kerala Literature Festival 2017.
Charu Nivedita was invited as the Guest of Honour on 10 March 2002 at the National Folklore Support Centre Folk Festival, Chennai.
He inaugurated the Third SIO Samvedana Vedhi International Film Festival, 2010, organised by the Students Islamic Organisation of India wing of the University of Calicut.
He inaugurated the International Film Festival of Tamil Nadu 2010, Chennai, organised by the International Tamil Film Academy and Seventh Channel Communications.
He ianugurated the Fourth Panchajanyam International Film Festival 2011 at Chittur, Kerala.
He inaugurated the valedictory session of the Third International Film Festival 2011, Kochi, which was jointly organised by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, Heart Light Association and the Ernakulam District Information Office.
At the 2013 Chennai Rainbow Film Festival(LGBT Film Festival), presented by Alliance Française de Madras, he participated in the 'Panel Discussion on Media Portrayal of LGBT issues.'
Charu Nivedita delivered the 2009 Paul Chirakkarode Memorial Lecture at Kottayam.
He was invited to speak at the valedictory function of ‘Thattakaperuma,' a series of programmes to observe the second death anniversary of Kovilan, Malayalam writer at Thrissur on 3 June 2012.
He delivered the commemoration speech at the 'Bob Marley Cultural Fest' on 11 May 2010 at Kochi.
He was one of the panelists at the Outlook Speak Out debate 2010, Chennai on the subject 'Moral Policing in a Democracy'.
He was invited as the chief guest of Sambavas' annual celebrations (a Dalit caste) at Chalakudy in Kerala on 11 May 2008.
He inaugurated a meeting and spoke among the adivasis protesting against wanton clay mining at Velichikala, near Kollam.
He addressed a gathering of Plachimada villagers who were on a relay hunger strike against Coca-Cola's wanton over-drawing of groundwater and polluting water bodies.
He marched with villagers protesting against Coca-Cola and Pepsi's wanton overdrawing of groundwater at Kanjikode, near Palakkad on 29 August 2008.
He inaugurated a symposium on Mullaiperiyar Dam issue organized by 'Uyiru', a joint cultural forum of Tamil and Malayalam writers and social activists on 7 July 2012 at Kottayam.
Zero Degree was on the curriculum in Spring 2010 in a Comparative World Literature course, taught by Jordan Smith, at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB).
University of Rochester has included Zero Degree in its translation program.
The Malayalam translation of Zero Degree is in the curriculum for postgraduate students at the Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam.
An SRM University professor in her paper on the IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS) places Zero Degree on par with William Burroughs' Naked Lunch.
"I convert my schizoid (state) into an art."
"There is nothing like planning in my literature, at any point of time. It's something which gets written between the schizoid state and dreams. Hence, with this same reason, I cannot comment on my writing. Like how I don't accept the roles of a father, a son, a lover, a friend – I despise the role of a writer too. My writing is nothing but the brush strokes of a person trying to escape from hell."
"Hatred is a disease."