Sahitya Akademi awardee Punathil Kunjabdulla, who is considered the pioneer of modernism in Malayalam literature, died in Kerala’s Kozhikode on Friday morning, The Hindu reported. He was 77.

The writer died of age-related ailments at a private hospital, Manorama reported.

Kunjabdulla, a doctor by profession, won the Sahitya Akademi award for his 1980 novel Smarakasilakal (Memorial Stones). In 1978, he won the Kerala Sahithya Akademi award for the same novel, and in 1980 for Malamukalile Abdulla.

He has written several novels and short stories, including notable ones such as Marunnu, Kanyavanangal, Kathi and Aligarh Kathakal.