“My best writing is yet to come….”— Balivada Kantha Rao (1927-2000)
Nothing captures his passion and love for writing and literature better than this humble reminder he often set for himself. Born on 3 July, 1927 in Madapam village (Srikakulam dist of Andhra Pradesh), he started writing very early, and continued to write until his final days. His creativity and passion for writing is evident from the fact that he juggled a full time job and family responsibilities to author and publish around 40 novels, 350 short stories, plays, and essays. He received many awards including the Central Sahitya Akademi award for Balivada Kantha Rao Kathalu, a collection of short stories. He is known for his focus on the goodness of human beings as a means to achieving social justice and equality. He passed away on 6 May, 2000 at his home in Visakhapatnam.
This writer has been emphasizing basic goodness of man not only as an individual goal, but as a means to resolving the problems of contemporary society“Spreading the fragrance of goodness”, Vakati Panduranga Rao, Writer and Critic, Andhra Pradesh Times, 29 June, 1997
In all his works, Balivada preaches what he practices and his individual qualities of sincerity, courtesy, kindness, discipline and honesty are reflected in all his writings…“Presenting a realistic panorama”, Chitrakavi Atreya, Telugu Writer, The Hindu, 4 July, 1997
Kantha Rao has been called a pessimist, determinist, and like Hardy, an evolutionary meliorist…His inexhaustible flow of language with a peculiar, Srikakulam twist has an absorbing lushness…Writers of Repute, Indian Express, 28th July, 1977
Kantha Rao’s stories encompass in them all shades of human behavior because his canvas is wide. He would rather make his characters reveal themselves and leave the judgement to the readers…“Balivada – individualistic in approach, universal in appeal”, Dr. J. Bhagyalakshmi, Deccan Herald, New Delhi, 22 May, 1999.