Born at Kudallur village in Palghat, Kerala in 1933, MT began contributing to periodicals very early in life. The first collection of his short stories was published before he completed his graduation from Victoria College, Palghat. He joined the Malayalam magazine Mathrubhumi in 1956, and later became its editor.
He has won the Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel, Kaalam; the President’s Gold Medal for the film Nirmalyam – written, produced and directed by him; The Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award thrice for his novel, Naalukettu; his short story collection Swargam Turakkunna Samayam and play, Gopuranatayil. He received the Vayalar Award for his novel Randamoozham and the National Award for Best Screenplay for Oru Vadakkan Veera Gatha, Sadayam and Kadavu. MT was awarded the Katha Award for Creative Fiction for the story Cheriya Cheriya Bhookambangal in 1992. He received the prestigious Jnanpith award in 1995. The Padma Bhushan Award was conferred upon him in 2005. MT lives in Calicut.