This is the work of a young writer still evolving into the major literary force he was expected to become - before a drowning accident in 1987 snatched him away when he was barely 45. The novel explores the psyche of several individuals playing superficial roles in their daily encounters with life in a largely metropolitan setting. Most of them are prisoners of their images or rather the images they wish to project to the world. Insecurity and their sense of alienation prevent them from realising their potential as students, lovers, parents, company executives. Aadhavan juxtaposes characters from very different backgrounds and lets the reader listen to the inner voices of these diverse personalities while they interact with one another and when they are apart. The voices are sometimes strident, at other times gentle, but they keep up a constant dialogue with the reader. Despite all the introspection and self-examination of its characters, Paper Flowers is not a grim tale but one laced with humour and self-deprecation. An outstanding representative of the emerging Tamil fiction of the 1970s.