Tag Archives: Aatish Taseer

The Fortnight (and a bit) in Literature and Translation (Feb 27-March 14, 2015)

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Ali Akbar Natiq’s What Will You Give For this Beauty (translated by Ali Madeeh Hashmi for Hamish Hamilton)
  • Shashi Tharoor’s The Five Dollar Smile from Penguin
  • Stuart Blackburn’s Murder in Melur from Rupa
  • From among her many literary engagements Rathi Menon’s latest is a book on Prof. M. Leelavathy
  • The literary works of Nepal’s national poet, Madhav Prasad Ghimire, will be translated into Hindi
  • Pakistan’s National Book Foundation (NBF) published a new  pocket size edition of the Deewan-e-Ghalib
  •  R. Meera’s popular novel Hangwoman will be translated into Arabic
  • Kannada writer Vasudhendra on ‘Mohanaswamy,’ his collection of short stories about gay lives
  • Ten years later, Gregory D Robert’s ‘Shantaram’ is back in a new novel.
  • Translator Poonam Saxena on Dharamvir Bharati’s ‘Gunahon Ka Devta’ and why it is a necessary tale of slow love for the instant generation.
  • The Sahitya Akademi has published a new monograph on Telugu writer Madhurantakam Rajaram

 

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • How well do you know your fictional Bengali detectives?
  • Tania James tells you why you must read this novel about the ivory trade: it’s told in part by an elephant
  • Mayank Austen Soofi on how Indian poetry in English is becoming part of the mainstream
  • Gargi Gupta on translation efforts and the neglect of India’s classics
  • Amitav Ghosh on his Ibis trilogy: “As a novelist, I am trying to create a sense of lived history”
  • Javed Akhtar on Urdu: “Language comes from regions, not religions”
  • Azaan Javaid on Jashn-E-Rekhta and the need to resurrect lost languages
  • Adapting Shakespeare in Bengali, at Jorasankar Thakurbari
  • Singapore’s Bangladeshi construction worker poets
  • Aatish Taseer writes in English for NYT on how English killed Indian literature
  • Intizar Hussain: a Pakistani author who left his heart in India
  • A couple of months back I’d done a detailed overview (parts one and two) of the Sahitya Akademi award-winners. Scroll has a shorter version here.
  • Watch a documentary that captures Mumbai’s love affair with books.
  • Dalit literature has grown popular over time: Sheoraj Singh Bechain
  • Charukesi on the poetry of Tamil writer Erode Tamizhanban
  • Veerappa Moily’s reinterpretation of Draupadi’s story.

Reviews 

  • Amrita Madhukalya reviews Mamang Dai’s new book The Black Hill, set in 19th century Arunachal Pradesh,
  • Chetana Divya Vasudev reviews Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Golden Leaves in TNIE
  • More on Ram Devineni’s “Priya” comic about a rape survivor in India using divine intervention to school people
  • Melanie P Kumar reviews Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad, in the Deccan Herald

 

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • Malayalam writer KR Meera received the Oman Kerala Sahitya Puraskaram in Muscat for her fantastic novel Hangwoman. Here’s an interview  with Ajay Kumar.
  • The Sahitya Akademi Translation Prizes 2014 have been announced.
  • Temsula Ao will receive the Kusumagraja National Literature Award
  • Literary awards presented to Assamese poet Bhaben and Bengali poet Shyamalkanti Das
  • Kuvempu Rashtreeya Puraskar to be conferred on Hindi writer Namvar Singh

People

  • Assaulted and hounded, Tamil writer Puliyar Murugesan to move out of his home to Thanjavur
  • Gulzar wishes Patar could translate his works to Punjabi
  • Popular rationalist and Gujarati writer Raman Pathak passes away
  • Ada Jafarey, first lady of Urdu poetry, dies
  • Odia writer Gayatribala Panda participating in ‘Writers in-residence’ programme at the Rashtrapati Bhavan
  • Remembering Kannada writer P Lankesh, who died before his time
  • Controversy-man, who is all for ‘deshivad’: Harihar Swarup writes about Bhalchandra Nemade, Jnanpith awardee

Publishing, the industry, and libraries

  • Publishers and book stores are doing their bit to preserve Urdu
  • India seems to be warming up to the literary agent
  • The former Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari, has filed a one billion rupee defamation suit against Penguin India for being mean to his friends.
  • Slam poetry has a niche audience in Bengaluru
  • Why Anuja Chauhan moved from HarperCollins after eight years and three bestsellers (spoiler: for the money)
  • A report from the recent All India Library Conference in Delhi: lessons for Nepal
  • The CenGov gave 25 districts funds to hold bookfairs: 13 failed to do so
  • Graphic India Believes It’s Time India Had Its Own Digital Comic Empire
  • NIE report on the Indian government’s giant banhammer (my, what a big hammer you have, my dear)
  • The Kerala State Library Council (KSLC) is going in for a much-needed digitisation drive,

 

 

The Week in Literature and Translation [Jan 16-22, 2015]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • The North East Review has posted a bunch of new content for their Oct-Dec 2014 issue: G Brahmachari’s poem ‘Northern Summer‘, Rini Barman’s essay ‘Akash Banti‘ and Rumpa Das’ story, ‘Durga, Apu and the Train
  • Lizzie Jacob, who is the former Chief Secretary of Kerala, is also a translator, and will be publishing a Malayalam translation of Tagore’s (Bengali) poems.
  • Lots of news coverage for the Murty Classical Library, which was launched this past week in Delhi – Economic Times, The Hindu, Times HE (UK), Deccan Herald, Times of India, The New Indian Express,
  • Javier Moro’s unauthorised biography of Congress politician Sonia Gandhi was released amidst claims that the Congress tried to suppress the book (Reuters, NYT, Livemint). The book appears to be on Archive.org as well.
  • Munsif M Rajendran’s fictionalised history of six generations of women in his family has been released.
  • N Kalyan Raman has posted translations in English of two poems by Tamil writer Salma
  • Anita Agnihotri’s short story collection ’17’ is new to Kindle this week, available here
  • A list of 13 Indian authors whose works entered the public domain in 2015.

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Ruth Vanita on the history of queer literature in India, and particularly, pre-colonial Lucknow
  • Nilanjana Roy’s lists: Books she enjoyed in 2014, and books to look forward to in 2015.
  • Sudeep Sen’s list of poetry books to look out for in 2015
  • Shamik Bag on the evolution of the Bengali detective and Calcutta noir.
  • The history of Higgin Bothams, one of Bengaluru’s oldest bookstores
  • ‘Angaarey’ challenged dominant Muslim narratives, transformed literature, says Raza Naeem in Lahore
  • JN Sinha has a lovely essay in Frontline on the endurance of Saratchandra Chatterjee’s novel, Devdas

Reviews

  • Sravasti Roy on Janice Pariat’s novel, Seahorse in The Hindu (Two descriptive paragraphs and an author’s quote are apparently what pass for a review these days)
  • Urmi Chanda Vaz reviews Rabisankar Bal’s A Mirrored Life, translatd from Bengali to English by ArunavaSinha
  • Pratik Kanjilal reviews David Davidar’s edited collection of short stories from India
  • Milind Bokil’s Marathi novel, Shala, translated by Vikrant Pande to English is reviewed by Prema Nandakumar
  • Two recent reviews of AK Mehrotra’s Collected Poems (2014) – in Daily Star by Manu Dash, and in Mid-Day by Lindsay Pereira.
  • Rini Barman reviews Maitreyee B Chowdhury’s collection of poetry on Benares for Himal Southasian
  • Tunku Varadarajan’s review essay is a good introduction to the new Murty Classical Library for OPEN
  • Arshia Sattar reviews Anita Anand’s biography of feminist icon Princess Sophia Duleep Singh for OPEN
  • Rajni George reviews Raj Kamal Jha’s novel, She Will Build Him A City for OPEN
  • Shreya Sethuraman has a list of six Indian crime fiction writers to read.  Unfortunately, one’s English, one’s Swedish and one writes non-fiction. Nevertheless.

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • Lisa Hill’s shadow jury for the DSC Prize picked The Mirror of Beauty by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, we’re still waiting for the actual jury to announce its choice.
  • Toto Funds the Arts, a trust set up in memoriam of Angirus ‘Toto’ Vellani (who died far too young), announced its annual English and Kannada awards for literature, theatre and music.
  • Mukti Deb Choudhury wins this year’s Leelarai Smriti Puraskar for her translations from Assamese to Bengali and back

People

  • For GQ, Nidhi Gupta in conversation with Amit Chaudhuri
  • Aatish Taseer talks to Chandrima Das of the Ahmedabad Mirror, about his book, The Way Things Were
  • Indian cartoonist RK Laxman is critically ill, here’s hoping for a quick and complete recovery.
  • A report on a planned biopic of Kannada writer Devanuru Mahadeva
  • Nataraja Huliyar, Kannada critic, says there have been no great women Kannada playwrights because they don’t “approach” Shakespeare.
  • Poet CP Surendran on his new book: Poetry is an inward journey, but a novel moves outward

Publishing and Industry

  • 21 non-official members of Maharashtra’s Urdu Sahitya Sabha were sacked by the new government.
  • Nivedita Padmanabhan talks about Pustaka Portal, and on publishing ebooks for non-English languages in India.
  • In that vein, an article from The Hindu talks about how Indian publishers are shifting their focus to digital publishing.
  • Kapil Isapuri is suing the makers of the film ‘PK’, claiming that they plagiarised his book ‘Farishta’ (Angel)
  • The Kannada Book Authority has sought a Rs. 10 crore grant from the Karnataka State Government for the next year. Good luck to them.
  • The biggest publishing story this week, of course, has been about Ravi Singh, who used to be at Penguin India and later Aleph Book Co. He quit the latter, reportedly, over their decision to withdraw Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus, after political pressure. He is now setting up his own publishing firm, called ‘Speaking Tiger’.
  • The Perumal Madhavan book ban issue has gone to court. Let’s hope for a positive outcome!
  • OUP editor Mini Krishnan talks about why she publishes translations
  • Rupa Publications announced a new business imprint, Maven.
  • Another one of those digital-publishing-is-killing-print-publishing-stories. This time, for Hindi fiction.

Events

The Fortnight in Literature and Translation [Dec 26 2014 – Jan 8, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • There were a couple of books to look out for in 2015 lists – DNA, Jaya Bhattacharji for Deccan Chronicle,
  • K Jayakumar has written a new commentary ‘Apaarathayodu Anuraagapoorvam’ on Tagore’s Gitanjali, in Malayalam (Mathrubhumi Books)
  • Two Assamese books translated to Malayalam: Pranab Kumar Barman’s poetry translated into Bengali by Sudipa Bhattacharjee as Pagli Brishti Porche, Dekho Dekho  and Pankaj Kumar Dutta’s short story collection translated by Bidhisha Ghose as Fugu Macher Galpo.
  • There is (justifiably) much excitement over the upcoming Murty Classical Library, which will be publishing five new translations from India’s classical canon, from five languages! Reports from the Economic Times, The Telegraph,
  • Bidyasagar Narzary, Sahitya Akademi award winner, has released a new novel in Bodo: Malotini Dao Moina
  • Assamese journalist and writer Saurav Kumar Chaliha’s translations and non-fiction have been digitised
  • Out of Print‘s December issue is out: stories by Manju Kak, Altaf Tyrewala, more
  • Kindle magazine’s special issue on Bangladesh is out.
  • Chenthil Nathan’s Tamil translation of Manto’s story, Toba Tek Singh
  • I’m thrilled to learn that Ruswa’s The Madness of Waiting is being translated to English by Krupa Shandilya, Taimoor Shahid for Zubaan Books

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

  • I don’t understand the point of articles like this: in ET, a plaintive complaint: “Will anyone start an Indian Year of Books?” Dear author, why don’t you?
  • Poet Tishani Doshi reviews Manohar Shetty’s collection of poems, Living Room.
  •  Rohini Nair says Aatish Taseer’s new book is difficult, but ultimately worth it. Vineet Roy, in BusinessLine also reviews.
  • Aishwarya Subramaniam reviews two recent YA lit novels from India.
  • Vaishna Roy reviews Somnath Batyabal’s racy new new cop thriller
  • SB Pisharoty reviews Indrani Raimedhi’s book, My Half of the Sky, which chronicles the life journey of 12 women from the North East.
  • Arunava Sinha asks, why isn’t translation the big story of Indian publishing?
  • Anthony Cummins reviews Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves
  • Karan Deep Singh, on how memories of WWII have endured in Indian folk songs
  • How technology is helping the visually-impaired access libraries at Delhi University
  • Vikrant Pande on the funniest Marathi writer of all time, Pu La Deshpande
  • Kuldeep Kumar on how Shrilal Shukla’s Raag Darbari endures
  • Asif Farrukhi in Dawn on the year in Urdu novels
  • Sufi Showkat reviews a new volume of protest poetry from Arabic, English, Kashmiri, Persian and Urdu
  • Dr GP Sharma argues that ’Syed Abdul Malik’s contribution to Assamese literature matches that of Lakshminath Bezbarua
  • Aswathy Karnaver reviews two debut collections of poetry (in English) from India, by A M Sivakrishna and Rahul Sharma

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • Odia poet Soubhagya Kumar Mishra wins the Gangadhar National Award for poetry.
  • After all the durm und strang, the Kannada Sahitya Sammelan had a tepid turnout.
  • Hirendra Nath Dutta has been chosen for the 25th Assam Valley Literary Award for the year 2014
  • Maithili scholar Ravindra Nath Thakur wins the PrabodhSahityaSamman
  • Dr. T.G. Prabhashankar “Premi” gets an honorary doctorate from the Vikramshila Hindi Vidyapeet in Bhagalpur, Bihar
  • Padma awardee Laltluangliana Khiangte on the need for a ‘literary awakening’

People

  • Telugu playwright and dialogue writer Ganesh Patro passed away. He was 69 and was being treated for cancer.
  • Translator Arunava Sinha on why he translates and another column on the dearth of translations from India
  • Hindi poet Nand Chaturvedi passed away. He was 91.
  • Urdu writer Shamsur Rahman Faruqi on writing, the literature he loves, and Sufism: a nice interview
  • Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra, at a writers’ conference made the terrifying claim that “should be universally acceptable”
  • Pakistani writer Intizar Husain makes a broad claim for writers: “as extremists do not read literature or our stories, we are safe”
  • Ashok Srinivasan talks about his Book of Common Signs, and finally getting published.
  • Contemporary Malayalam poet Atoor Ravi Varma on his poetry, music and translation.
  • Slightly blunt obituary for Academician and thinker Hardiljit Singh Sidhu (Lali Baba)
  • Konkani poet JB Moraes passes away at 82

Publishing

  • Literary journal Asian Cha has a poetry contest, ‘The Other Side’ (deadline: Feb 15)
  • David Davidar of Aleph Book Co on the challenges that Indian publishers face in the future.
  • Perumal Murugan’s book, One Part Woman has been facing boycotts and censorship attempts by the Hindu right – here’s an article from PEN, an excerpt in Scroll, a report in Indian Express.
  • Indian publishers on the trends in 2014
  • Tagore’s short story, ‘Postmaster’ to be made into a film

Events

  • A report on a two-day symposium on medieval bhakti literature in Odia held in Jan.
  • Shrabonti Bagchi has a survivor’s guide to Indian litfests. Leave before Bollywood arrives
  • An update on the Guwahati Lit Fest
  • 200 years of Ghalib, and his hometown, Agra, forgot him.
  • At the Amta Book Fair 2014, Bengali books did well
  • Celebrations for the 87th birth anniversary of Nepali poet Agam Singh Giri

The Week in Literature and Translation [Dec 12-18, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Wilma Bantwal’s debut poetry collection in Konkani, ‘Mukhddim‘ was released in Goa
  • Via First Post an excerpt from Aatish Taseer’s new novel, The Way Things Were
  • Via Scroll, an excerpt from Saskya Jain’s Fire under Ash
  • Naga poet, Corrina Khyojano Humtsoe, released her first collection of poems- The Storyteller
  • Via DNA, an excerpt from Siddharth Dasgupta’s ‘Letters from an Indian Summer’
  • A report on the upcoming Murty Classical Library series, which looks fantastic

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Deepanjana Pal (@dpanjana) hits the nail on the head, about everything that’s wrong with this new religion-based anti-rape comic, Shakti. (‘Augmentation’ unnecessary)
  • K Satchidanandan, author and translator, says the most promising young writers in India, in his view, are “all women, hold real promise and have already proved that they are serious about their commitment to writing” – Janice Pariat, Meena Kandasamy, and Indu Menon.
  • Hartosh Singh Bal in Caravan writes about how publishers are coping with right-wing censorship in India.
  • Shikha Malaviya on why Indian poetry matters now, more than ever (yes, this article perpetuates all kinds of stereotyping and foolishness, but if I don’t link it how will you good folk outrage about it?)
  • A column remembering the Malayalam poet, Velliangattan
  • English writing in India has to still find its voice: Aatish Taseer says, in Mid-Day

Reviews

  • A review of the new comic, Angry Maushi (Angry Aunt) by Abhijit Kini. Maushi fights evil corporate robot ronin.
  • A review of a simply darling little murder mystery set in exotic India (the mystical Orient!) featuring thugs and elephants (what else?) by a British writer . I particularly love the bit about how driving up and down roads in Madhya Pradesh gave her what she needed to write about India (“I felt afterwards there was no way I could have comfortably written the novel without going, though what I got out of it was more impressionistic than specific”). Dear Simon, Go Back!
  • Upamanyu Chatterjee’s new ‘separated at birth’ novel, Fairytales at Fifty, reviewed by Elizabeth Kuruvilla in Mint.
  • A collection of stories for young adults based on speculative fiction and women, Eat the Sky, Drink the Water, reviewed by Bijal Vachharajan in Mint.

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • The Karnataka Sahitya Akademi decided to clear some backlog and announce the Akademi awards for 2011 and 2010. 52 recipients: The Hindu has a story but not a complete list.
  • Odia writers Santanu Kumar Acharya and Pratibha Ray won the Sarala Samman and Kalinga Ratna awards respectively.
  • Vishwanath Tripathi collected his Bhasha Samman award from the Sahitya Akademi on December 18, 2014
  • Gangadhar Meher National Award for Poetry for 2013 goes to Odia poet Soubhagya Kumar Mishra.

People

  • Mahesh Rao (@mraozing) writes about reading, writing, performing Chekhov, and youth
  • A short interview with Hindi writer Mr. Sanjay Shepherd (in Hindi)
  • A profile of Ronald Vivian Smith, Delhi’s chronicler of the absurd.
  • Marathi author, Chandrakant Khot, passed away.

Publishing

  • The excellent literary magazine Almost Island is accepting manuscript submissions (English only, translations accepted if previously unpublished) for a competition. Deadline: March 1, 2015.
  • Apparently there were excellent sales of Odia books at the Rajdhani fair in Bhubaneswar, glad to hear it.
  • In DNA a profile of the great indie publisher, Yoda Press, which is run by Arpita Das (@yodakinthestore)
  • Chetan (he of the देती है तो दे वर्ना काट ले fame) Bhagat has, after hurting the tender feelings of the erstwhile royal family of Dumraon, added insult to injury by threatening to inflict his lifelong friendship upon them. No wonder they’ve sent him legal notices.
  • Selling Kannada books: online sales pick up but apparently, most prefer bookshops

Events

  • Mangaluru to host Konkani lit fest on December 20, 2014
  • Patna had a three day Maithili literature festival last week.
  • Aligarh Muslim University had a seminar on Tamil poet, Subramania Bharti
  • The Mumbai Lit Fest was as precious and irrelevant as one expected. Aakar Patel ruefully reports for Mint.

The Week in Literature and Translation [Dec 5-11 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Kindle Magazine’s Biannual issue is out.
  • Books for 2015 – Arunava Sinha talks to publishers about what they’re looking forward to (via Scroll)
  • A new comic book from India has a heroine who was gangraped and develops a Hindu goddess alter ego. Notwithstanding mountains of evidence, commentary, writing and literature, the American author ‘discovered’ “that rape and sexual violence in India was a cultural issue, and that it was backed by patriarchy, misogyny, and people’s perceptions.” only after talking to one cop following the Dec 16 gangrape (TW:graphic details behind the link). I’m not holding my breath on this one.
  • A new volume of photographs on the Kannada writer, Kuvempu, has been released.
  • Assamese writer Bipul Regon will be publishing a collection of poetry in Malayalam.
  • ‘Draupadi’ – An excerpt from ashort story by Mahasweta Devi, translated from the Bengali by Spivak
  • An excerpt from Ajaz Ashraf’s new novel, The Hour Before Dawn
  • Penguin released a translation of Nirmal Verma’s A Rag Called Happiness, by Kuldip Singh (I missed this one, it was out in November).

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

Reviews

  • Reviews of Janice Pariat’s new novel, Seahorse, are out: here’s Urvashi Bahuguna in Helter Skelter (she’s convinced the book is “her story”), Jayathi Madhukar in Bangalore Mirror,
  • A review of Arundhathi Subramaniam’s collection of poetry, When God is a Traveller, by Sumana Roy in IE
  • A review of Ghulam Nabi Bhat (Shahid)’s collection of short stories, Ailaan Jaari Hai, in the Kashmir Reader.
  • Rakshanda Jalil reviews Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s great The Sun that Rose from the Earth (“every single one of its 600-odd pages is a connoisseur’s delight, brimful with evocative detail and flavoursome with the choicest of Urdu verses”)
  • KK Srivasatava reviews Ramakanta Rath’s collection of poetry, Frontier Lyrics
  • K Santhosh has a new review of KR Meera’s Hangwoman
  • Vaishna Roy says Aatish Taseer’s The Way We Were is “a book of ideas”
  • Ramya Sarma on Deepti Kapoor’s A Bad Character: “This is not an especially pleasant book, nor one that will endear the characters and their behaviour to its readers, but it is a strangely compelling one.”
  • Anusha Parthasarthy reviews Saad Bin Jung’s Matabele Dawn, set in India and Africa.
  • JB Rose reviews Anita Nair’s Idris, Keeper of the Light
  • A review of Australian author Brian Stoddart’s new murder novel, set in Chennai
  • Pratik Kanjilal on the casual and sexual violence in Upamanyu Chatterjee’s new book
  • Arunava Sinha deconstructs Ravinder Singh’s slightly creepily titled Your Dreams Are Mine Now

NEWS, AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • A large number of Hindi writers were given awards for literature by the Uttar Pradesh government. Notably, Doodhnath Singh was given Bharat Bharti Samman (UP’s highest honour) and Mamta Kalia received the Lohia Sahitya Samman
  • Bilal Tanweer won the Shakti Bhatt Prize 2014 – he couldn’t come to collect it India, so Shovon Chowdhury delivered an acceptance speech for him.

People

  • Mirza Waheed talks to Nandini Nair of Businessline on cricket, Kashmir and growing up. In Greater Kashmir, he talks about the process of writing: “Memory informs the imagination, and imagination may sometimes colour, even shape and bend memory.”
  • Aditi Mehta on meeting Vikram Seth
  • Kannada writer Devanuru Mahadeva on why he’s refusing to chair the Kannada Sammellan next year, and on the status of the language generally (“Kannada is being strangled to death”)
  • Goan writer Manohar Shetty on why he writes about the world of animals, in a conversation with Esther Elias in the Hindu.
  • Ahmedaband will celebrate the 122nd birth anniversary of Gujarati writer Dhumketu (Gaurishankar Govardhandas Joshi)
  • In the Hindu, an interview with David Davidar on his choices in a new anthology of Indian stories
  • Chetan “Deti hai to de varna kat le” Bhagat says, “I am not doing sequels like J.K. Rowling. #Blessed

Publishing and Sales

  • A profile of the Gandhi Book Store in Mumbai, via Bombaywalla.
  • Amar Chitra Katha, which publishes Hindu mythology based comics for children, has a new website.
  • Nepali writer Buddhi Sagar’s anticipated second novel, फिरफिरे was to come out on March 8th, but has been delayed
  • Can Byomkesh Bakshi become a new franchise (like…..Bond?) Sandipan Deb in Livemint.
  • Neel Mukherjee on how Western publishing views Indian writing: some choice words on the sari border/spices/bangles book covers and the obsession with classifying Indian novels as ‘saga’s.
  • The President of India’s memoirs are going to be published online only for a week, before print publication begins. This seems to have created a row.

Events

  • Here‘s where you can get free passes to the Raipur Sahitya Fest. The event seems to have run into controversy already.
  • Here‘s the list of speakers for the Zee Jaipur Lit Fest.
  • All India Radio is organising an event for the former Prime Minister Vajpayee’s birthday. He wrote some fairly pedestrian political poetry. Meanwhile this year, two fine women writers died (Turaga Janaki Rani, Rajam Krishnan), Kedarnath Singh won the Jnanpith Award, and it did nothing. Jai ho.
  • The Kolkata Book Fair this year is focusing on literature from…Britain.
  • A performance of Pranabandhu Kar’s play “Eka Maati Aneka Akasha” (Odia) in Bhubaneswar in commemoration of his birth centenary. Also there’s a new website on him.
  • Event | National Book Fair | Puducherry | Dec 19 |Link

The Week in Literature and Translation [Nov 28-Dec 4, 2013]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Several new books, including two translations, will be released at the Goa Lit Fest later this month: Konkani novelist Mahabaleshwar Sail’s Aranyakand has been translated by Vidya Pai as Forest Saga, and Damodar Mauzo’s Mirage, also translated by Vidya Pai will be released. Also, Pete Judd’s Happy Valley Daze, Tales of Goa Gone, Amita Kanekar’s A Spoke in the Wheel, Manohar Shetty’s Goa Travels, Mamang Dai’s Black Hill, Wilfred Goes, Kapaz Jaki and more.
  • An excerpt from Aatish Taseer’s The Way Things Were at Scroll.
  • The third volume of Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis trilogy, Flood of Fire, will be released in March 2015.
  • Mubashir Karim’s story, The Road, was published in Kashmir Dispatch.

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • This article on the availability of LGBT literature in India is largely patronising (“I was unsure if the young kids showing solidarity were conforming to a peer’s ‘coolness’ quotient or were aware of what it means to be gay.”) Author gets rightly schooled by her own daughter who says “Mom, it’s not us with the problem; your generation has an issue with alternate sexuality.” Duckbill Publishing and Yoda Press get a mention, too.
  • Chandrahas Choudhury on AK Mehrotra’s translations of Kabir
  • Kuldeep Kumar on Neruda’s poetry in India, and translations to Hindi.
  • Gillian Wright, who translated Shrilal Shukla’s Hindi novel Raag Darbari to English, talks about the book’s continuing relevance.
  • Anita Nair says the best contemporary children’s writing in India isn’t in English

Reviews

  • Sarju Kaul reviews Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves in Asian Age, and Shilpi Raina reviewed it in Kashmir Dispatch.
  • Sumana Roy reviews Upamanyu Chatterjee’s Fairy Tales at Fifty in Scroll, and Sanjay Sipahimalani reviews it for Livemint and Bibek Debroy reviews it in the Indiann Express.
  • Vineet Gill reviews Laetitia Zecchini’s new book on the poet, Arun Kolatkar, in the Sunday Guardian

NEWS, AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • The Kerala State Institute of Children’s Literature Awards, 2013 were announced: ten writers won awards, including C Radhakrishnan for his novel ‘Ammathottil’. They seem to have a ‘science literature’ category as well- I am not sure if this is science fiction, or popular science.
  • MT Vasudevan Nair won the Balamani Amma Award for contributions to literature.
  • The DSC South Asian Prize shortlist is out – Jhumpa Lahiri (USA) nominated for The Lowland, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (India) for The Mirror of Beauty, Bilal Tanweer (Pakistan) for The Scatter Here Is Too Great, Kamila Shamsie (UK), A God In Every Stone and Romesh Gunesekera (UK) for Noontide Toll. Faruqi’s is a translation from Urdu, the rest are all in English.

People

  • Janice Pariat talks about her book Seahorse in Verve magazine and her forthcoming poetry collection, The Memory of Place: Poems from Shillong and Elsewhere.
  • In Kitaab, a column and interview with the fantastic Shashi Deshpande (“The problem, as I see it, especially in India, is that  we seem to confuse fast-selling fiction with significant writing and  then giving it undue importance.”)
  • Meher Marfatia profiles the indefatigable Malati Jhaveri, who hiked, photographed, danced, did theatre, conserved Indian textiles and translated from Hindi to Gujarati.
  • Kannada writer Devendru Mahadeva has refused to chair the upcoming Kannada Sammelan, on the grounds that the state is not committed to promoting the language and has not implemented it as the medium of instruction.
  • Mirza Waheed on living in Kashmir and writing (“So why not Kashmir? If Orhan Pamuk can write about Turkey all his life, why can’t I write two novels about Kashmir, where I grew up?”). In a more detailed interview in Tehelka,

Publishing

  • In what is certainly one of the biggest deals in India Jerry Almeida has signed Rs 12 crore (book deal for a series of ten ‘Karma Kurry’ books with Jaico publishers (approximately $2.2. million). He says he’s going to donate the entire proceeds and income to a “national character building movement ‘Apeejay Karmayuga”
  • SapnaOnline.com, the e-tailing arm of book store Sapna Book House, bought Ishita Technologies Pvt Ltd and its three brands—Bookadda.com, Acadzone.com and Koolskool.com.

Events

General

NYT has already published its 2014 Notable Books list. (no notable books expected in the last month of the year I presume). For India, the count is one Indian (Ramachandra Guha for Gandhi before India), five persons of Indian origin, and no translations from here (more a reflection of the state of translation than the editorial choices of NYT).

 

The Week in Literature and Translation [30 October to 6 November, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, the second book about Indian detective Vish Puri, is out in paperback. [Amazon]
  • Two books by Mahasweta Devi will be out in new editions (paperback) in November – Breast Stories [Amazon] and Old Women [Amazon]
  • Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves was released [Penguin] [Flipkart – pre order]
  • Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s The Sun that Rose from the Earth was released [Flipkart – preorder]
  • Aatish Taseer’s The Way Things Were is up for pre-order (releasing December 2014) [Flipkart]
  • Janice Pariat’s Seahorse is up for pre-order (releasing end November, 2014) [Flipkart]
  • Sandeep Balakrishna’s translation of SL Bhyrappa’s Kannada novel, Aavarana, is now available as an e-book [Flipkart]
  • Teresa’s Man and Other Stories from Goa, a selection of short stories by, Damodar Mauzo, have been compiled and translated by Xavier Cota. [Rupa]
  • Amit Chaudhuri’s edited volume of poems by AK Mehrotra, is out and includes Mehrotra’s translations of poems from the Hindi, Gujarati, Prakrit and Bengali [Penguin]
  • Some of Pablo Neruda’s poetry for children has been translated into Hindi, Bengali and Marathi, for schoolchildren in India. [Latin American Herald Tribune]
  • Amandeep Sandhu’s novel, Roll of Honour [Author’s site] has been translated into Punjabi, and the translation was released at the Chandigarh Lit Fest. [HT]
  • Konkani writer Dr. Madhukar Joshi’s novel, Kodai Kosu, has been translated to English by Neeraja Vaidhya, as Inside Mortar and Pestle [ToI]
  • Arunava Sinha, endlessly prolific, has a new translation of Bengali poet Amiya Chakravarti’s poem, The Exchange [his website]
  • A new issue of Muse India is out, this one in honour of Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy, who recently died. [Muse India]
  • Jane D’Suza’s book for children, Super Zero is out [The Hindu]
  • Transgender rights activist Revathi has publisher her autobiography [The Hindu]
  • Poile Sengupta has released her first novel, Inga, after several childrens’ books. [The Hindu]
  • Vikrant Dadawala’s blog contains some translations of Hindi poetry. See, for instance, his translation of ‘Salt’ by Kedarnath Singh. [Link]
  • Karnataka has two new Kannada magazines – one devoted to issues faced by the LGBT community (The Hindu) and another focusing on music (The Hindu)
  • Cartoonist Paul Fernandes has a new book on Bangalore’s days past, titled, Swinging in the Sixties [The Hindu]

COLUMNS, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Columns and Articles

  • Karthik Subramaniam in The Hindu says Tamil blogging is thriving, as English blogging declines [The Hindu]
  • Dilip Menon has a lovely essay in Caravan on Malayalam writer KR Meera [Caravan]

Reviews

  • Monojit Majumdar, a former member of the O.S.L.A. (One Sided Lovers’ Assocation) reviews Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend and finds it ”
    mediocre, simplistic and clichéd.” [Indian Express] Manavi Kapur in her review described it as ‘average’ [Business Standard]
  • Mirza Waheed’s new book, The Book of Gold Leaves, has been reviewed this last week – The Guardian,
  • Reviews of Zafar Anjum’s biography of Urdu poet, Iqbal – Rakshanda Jalil in  Indian Express, Naresh ‘Nadeem’ in Tehelka
  • Chitra Viraraghavan’s debut novel The Americans [Hindustan Times]
  • Trisha Gupta in Caravan reviews two new thespian lives: Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography, and a biography of Dilip Kumar [Caravan]

NEWS: AWARDS, EVENTS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHERS

Events

  • Book Fair | Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala | November 1-15, 2014 | TNIE
  • Literati, Chandigarh Literary Fest | Chandigarh | November 7-9 | DJ
  • 16th North East India Book Fair | Guwahati | November 1-12, 2014 | ToI
  • Telugu poet Madugula Nagaphani Sarma brings the Avadhanam, in Sanskrit, Hindi and Telugu . The Avadhanam is a live poetry performance- poetry in response to audience questions. | Delhi | November 2-9, 2014 | PTI
  • IHC Samanvay Lit Fest (recommended) | Delhi | November 6-9, 2014 | website
  • Pustaka Parishe (a Kannada book fair) | Bengaluru | December 7-9 2014 | The Hindu

People

  • Kashmiri poet and writer, Amin Kamil, died at the age of 90. He wrote in both, Kashmiri and Urdu, and won, amongst others, the Sahitya Akademi award and the Padma Shri, for his poetry, ghazals, plays and stories. [DNA,] [Rising Kashmir] [Kashmir Life] [Kashmir Reader]
  • Poet and translator, Aziz Indori, who worked in Urdu and Hindi, died at the age of 82 [Times of India]
  • Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, says the heart of poetry is metaphor, which cannot be taught [Indian Express]
  • Mani Rao in an interview with Zafar Anjum, on writing poetry, living in Hong Kong and her upcoming book on Kalidasa [Kitaab]
  • Amit Chaudhuri, in an interview with Vaishna Roy, says he is “drawn to the quirky” [The Hindu] In Elle Magazine, he says “there is a much greater aesthetic space for literature here now than there was 15 years ago otherwise.” [Elle]
  • Shamsur Rahman Faruqi on his new book, The Sun That Rose from the Earth, in an interview with Amrita Datta [Indian Express]
  • Khaled Ahmed profiles Pakistani novelist Intizar Husain. Husain recently won the Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. [Indian Express]
  • Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik at the OdishaLitFest 2014 spoke about the importance of regional literature [IBNlive]

Publishing

  • The Kannada Book Authority directed Kannada book publishers to register all books with it, for the purposes of preparing a complete catalogue. [Business Standard]
  • Amazon India has launched a Kannada books and music online store. [IBNlive]
  • Nivedita Ganguly has another one of those Ebooks-are-changing-everything columns. [The Hindu]
  • More on former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s project to promote Tamil literature. [ToI]
  • Kannada publisher Navkarnataka is offering a special discount as part of the Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations [The Hindu]

News

  • The Mopungchuket Ait Laisher Telongjem Library in Nagaland celebrates 75 years. [Morung Express]
  • The Central Institute on Indian Languages may move from Mysore to Bengaluru. [The Hindu]
  • 600 poets are participating in the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi’s Kaavya Saptaha, across 30 districts in Karnataka [The Hindu]