Tag Archives: Amitav Ghosh

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 [Feb 6-Feb 11, 2015]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Bollywood lyricist Irshad Kamil’s book of poetry “Ek Maheena Nazmon Ka” was released last week
  • OUP India has published an English translation of Kannada novel Kusumable, by Devanuru Mahadave. Here’s an interview with the translator Susan Daniel.
  • Fascinating: visually interpreting Malayalam at the Kochi Biennale
  • Publisher Ashok Chopra has released his memoirs, “A Scrapbook of Memories”.
  • Nepali poet Avinash Bagde released his fourth volume of poems.
  • Nikhil Govind has released a monograph studying romance and politics in Hindi novels.
  • Renuka Nidagundi’s new book ‘Amrutha Nenapugalu’ is about memories and the life of Amrita Pritam.

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Aakar Patel in Quartz is glad that an Indian philanthropist is donating money for books instead of temples (referring to the excellent Murty Classical Library).
  • Salil Tripathi: The right to be offended (he quotes a Mahesh Padgaonkar poem)
  • A lovely, extended essay on poet Ranjit Hoskote, by Sumana Roy for Scroll: on his  “polyglossia, both linguistic and cultural”
  • Listicle update:  India’s top 5 “erotica” writers (eye bleach required after), top 5 travel books for India, from Scroll,
  • Dola Mitra writes about Amitav Ghosh and his next book, Flood of Fire.

Reviews

  • Sumana Mukherjee reviews Mamang Dai’s The Black Hill
  • Taha Kehar reviews Aakar Patel’s edited book of Manto’s essays
  • Neel Mukherjee reviews Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad
  • Kuldeep Kumar reviews Nikhil Govind’s monograph on Hindi romance novels.
  • Joanna Lobo on Kuzhali Manickavel’s post-autopsy world.

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • Marathi writer Balachandra Nemade won the Jnanpith Award. He immediately got into a spat with Salman Rushdie (he dismissed English writing about India, Rushdie called him a “grumpy old b******). Here’s the IE on his writing and style (“unforgiving and brutally honest”). The Maharashtra government is considering getting involved, as well, and take action against Rushdie. Other Marathi writers have refused to back him. Ironically it turns out that Bhalchandra Nemade teaches…..English literature. He must hate his job! Anyhow, the year’s literary calendar is incomplete without our obligatory annual Rushdie literary spat.
  • Akhil Sharma’s ‘Family Life’ is on the 2015 Folio Prize Shortlist.
  • Poet Nurul Huda is among 15 people named for Bangladesh’s Ekushey Padak 2015
  • The 2014 Kaifi Azmi Awards were announced: Usha Ganguli (culture), Kulsum Talha, (journalism), Shakeel Siddiqui (Hindi literature), Prof Ali Ahmad Fatmi (Urdu literature)
  • Odia writer Gayatribala Panda has been selected for the ‘Writers in-residence’ programme at the Rashtrapati Bhavan

People

  • I love when Bollywood gets going on their literary credentials. Capt. Obvious Ranbir Kapoor says “Poetry is something that you have to understand. It is not easy.” Also,  Huma Quereshi collects Urdu poetry books. But she equates poetry with shayri.
  • Tripura’s poet-minister, Anil Sarkar, passed away. He was 76 years old.

Publishing/Industry News

  • Singapore’s government is donating books on Singapore to libraries across the world, beginning with India.
  • Bombay gets a new bookstore.
  • Dakshinaranjan Mitra Majumder’s Bengali fantasy classic, Kiranmala, is being adapted for television
  • The Konkani Association of Hyderabad celebrated fifty years of its existence on Sunday
  • Andhra University is planning to set up a full-fledged foreign languages e-archive on the campus (to make up for the loss of EFLU)

Events

  • The TNIE is outraged at a Bengali troup’s “disgraceful” reinterpretation of a Pranabandhu Kar play.
  • A 3 day All India Theatre Fest was held in Belagavi last week.
  • The Bhubaneswar book fair begins
  • The New Delhi World Book Fair begins on Feb 14.
  • India at the 6th Karachi Lit Fest: ““We cannot trade printed material between Pakistan and India”

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).