Tag Archives: Bengali

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 Fortnight in Literature and Translation (Feb 12-26 2015)

This is now going to become a fortnightly column, instead of weekly.

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Two novellas by Urdu writer Ikramullah’s are out in an English translation by Faruq Hassan and Mohammad Umar Memon. The book, titled Regret, has been published by Penguin Random House India.
  • A selection of Urdu writer Ali Akbar Natiq’s short stories are out in an English translation titled, What Will You Give for This Beauty?The translation, by Musharraf Ali Farooqui, is published by Penguin Random House India.
  • The ninth and penultimate volume of Bibek Debroy’s magisterial translation of the Mahabharata is out.
  • Six volumes of literature from the Adil Shahi era are being published in Kannada translation, by Department of Kannada and Culture in Karnataka.
  • Nepali Madan Puraskar laureate Dinesh Adhikari’s book of poetry has been translated to Hindi
  • A three-volume Birinchi Kumar Barua Rachanawali was released in Guwahati
  • Wonderful news: the Dhaka Translation Centre plans the creation of a collection of translations titled the ‘Library of Bangladesh’
  • New publisher Speaking Tiger has its first three books out (all in English): Omair Ahmed’s novel, The Storyteller’s Tale, Mahesh Bhatt and Suhrita Sengupta’s novel/screenplay, All That Could Have Been, and a collection of essays by Ruskin Bond, A Book of Simple Living.
  • Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan’s verses have been translated to Greek
  • Debut author Shweta Taneja talks about her upcoming book about ‘tantric detective’ Anantya. Conceptually, this sounds terrible. Hope it’s been executed well.
  • Television journalist Pooja Talwar talked about her upcoming novel “Bebbe Diaries” at the recent World Book Fair in New Delhi

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Tisha Srivastav comments on the lack of variety in Indian publishing in a column for Scroll, titled, “A new dictionary of book classification in bookstores”
  • Mamta Sagar on the troubled genius of iconic Kannada writer Samsa
  • Asit Ranjan Mishra asks, How should we celebrate Indian classical languages? He concludes, “Forcing students to learn Sanskrit is not important for our future generation to appreciate the great heritage of this country, making it easily available in the language he or she wants to read it is.”
  • Anita Nair on three good Malayalam to English translations of Indian fiction last year.
  • Dr IM Singh on the folk stories of the Meiteis of Manipur.
  • Meera Sashital’s article on the Sanskrit poet, Banabhatta
  • Writer Nikhileshwar on Perumal Murugan, intolerance and politics.
  • Regional writers back Marathi writer Nemade on his tirade against Naipaul, Rushdie

Reviews

  • Sarah Hafeez reviews Mamang Dai’s The Black Hill in the Indian Express.
  • A new review of Uday Prakash’s The Walls of Delhi, as translated by Grunebaum, in the QC
  • Catherine Lacey reviews Deepti Kapoor’s A Bad Character in the NYT
  • Bollywood loves lyricist Irshad Kamil’s recently published book of Urdu poetry.

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • The Vinda Karandikar Jeevan Gaurav Puraskar will be conferred on well-known Marathi writer D M Mirasdar.

People

  • Kashmiri poet Gani Miskeen of Sopore passed away. He was 60.
  • A profile of Madurai’s A.R. Subbier, who wrote Tamil bakthi literature, by S Annamalai in The Hindu.
  • Via TOI a short interview with Goan writer Damodar Mauzo
  • Renowned Urdu poet Kaleem Aajiz passed away
  • Telugu Novelist Kesava Reddy passed away

Publishing

  • Another Tamil writer under attack for novel. Meanwhile, Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, who has stopped writing completely since his novel was censored and burned, has filed an affidavit in court in a proceeding challenging the ban on his book. “A writer cannot function under threat or fear,” he said.
  • Kalyani Prasher asks, Is Hindi literature back in fashion? Another article speaks about the adoption of new technology in Hindi publishing.
  • A number of new generation libraries in Mumbai are offering more than just reading room to members
  • Binoo K John asks, How big is Indian publishing, really? and notes that a survey with the answers is forthcoming
  • Here’s an interview with Ashok Chopra on his career as a publisher:
  • TNN on the evolution of online publishing in India.
  • A news report on the future of government publishing in India.
  • The current BJP national government plans a probe into the activities of the IGNCA

Events

The Week in Literature and Translation [Jan 30-Feb 5, 2015]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Navayana’s edition of Ambedkar’s Annihilation of Caste is now available in Malayalam, via DC books.
  • Granta’s last issue (130) was India-themed.
  • Amitav Ghosh will launch the third book in his Ibis trilogy, ‘Flood of Fire’, in Imphal on Feb 6
  • Indulekha is offering autographed copies of C Radhakrishnan’s books.
  • There’s a new Anis Shivani novel coming out, via HarperCollins, titled ‘Karachi Raj
  • Anjuman-E-Islam has restored, preserved a Persian translation of Ramayana, and Urdu translation of Bhagavad Gita. I’m particularly interested in the latter: apparently, the Gita has been preserved as a ghazal!
  • Subraya Bhat,has written a biography of Ahobala Shankara, the translator who rendered Bengali works into Kannada
  • Twitter celebrity and novelist Nilanjana Roy has published a short story, ‘Softspeakers’ online.
  • A children’s book ‘Uncommon Wealth’ by Konkani, Marathi writer Datta D Naik was released
  • Sunita Bhadwal has translated Kripa Sagar’s Dido Jamwal (1934), about a Dogra folk hero
  • An excerpt from Amita Kanekar’s A Spoke in the Wheel, on the life of the Buddha.
  • An excerpt from Anita Anand’s ‘Sophia’, about feminist and revolutionary Sophia Singh
  • Rushdie’s first novel in 7 years will be released this September
  • R K Biswas on her new collection of stories, Breasts and Other Afflictions of Women.
  • Matte Bantu Shravana is a new compilation of poems by young Kannada writers over the last three decades
  • An excerpt from Ruskin Bond’s Ranji’s Wonderful Bat & Other Stories
  • New content at the North East Review: Usha Akella’s poems.
  • Deepanjana Pal has a more detailed list of upcoming non-fiction books from Penguin, HarperCollins.

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

  • Iris Yellum, Ph.D. student at Harvard, offers us this narrative about Ajay Navaria’s narrative
  • Amisha Chaubey in HT on Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, her novels and her screenplays for Merchant-Ivory
  • Chetan Bhagat threatens to inflict “10 to 15” more books on unsuspecting janta, is Zadie Smith’s fourteen year old fanboy (“She writes really well and is very pretty.”) I love the title of the column – it appears as though it were a quote from him but he doesn’t actually say it anywhere. I like to believe it was editorial input and not an oversight.
  • A review of ‘Raconteurs from the Hills’, a collection of stories by six Naga authors, from Penthrill Publications
  • Ian Gregson says poetry is receding from conversation. English poetry, sure.
  • Deepti Kapoor’s A Bad Character at Kirkus Reviews.
  • Vaishna Roy reviews Amit Chaudhuri’s Odysseus Abroad
  • Tishani Doshi reviews ‘s novel Seahorse, in TNIE
  • JB Rose asks, do Indian literary prizes set literary standards?
  • Five thoughts on writing, and a post-script, from Amitav Ghosh
  • William Dalrymple in the Guardian on BN Goswamy’s The Spirit of Indian Painting
  • Samit Basu on Indian ‘science’ badfiction, in Times of India
  • Frontline has reposted this lovely 1992 article by RK Laxman on his equally famous brother, the writer RK Narayan
  • India’s modern revivalists: Rohan Murty and Sheldon Pollock, the duo behind the Murty Classical Library of India
  • The Sultan of Beypore: V Abdulla profiles Malayalam writer Vaikom Muhammed Basheer
  • A profile of D. Jayakanthan, the second Tamil writer to win the Jnanpith Award
  • Bijoya Sawan on writing and translating Khasi literature.
  • Zafar Anjum reviews Chandrika Balan’s Arya and Other Stories.
  • Raza Naeem in The Express Tribune on Kashmir and Krishan Chander’s fiction.

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

AWARDS

  • Konkani novelist Edwin J D’Souza wins a lifetime achievement award from Federation of Konkani Catholic Associations
  • Hindi writer Mithileshwar wins the 4th Srilal Shukla Sahitya award

PEOPLE

  • Mirza Waheed was on BBC Radio 4 talking about his book, The Book of Gold Leaves.
  • Journalist-author, freedom fighter Vasant Pradhan passed away
  • Madhya Pradesh’s first Urdu woman journalist Khalida Bilgrami passed away at 71
  • Perumal Muruga has objected to a plan to use his novel’s title (One Part Woman) for a forthcoming film: “It distresses me to see that there are many who want to turn my situation to their advantage,”
  • Women writers, academics in Karnataka slammed the Kannada writer SL Bhyrappa for misogyny. Writer and critic Dr. Ashadevi said, “But Prof. Bhyrappa has never treated women, who form 50 per cent of the population, as human beings.”
  • Via the Asian Books Blog, an interview with Malaysian writer Professor Ghulam-Sarwar Yousof
  • Prof. S. Ramaswamy talks about translating Kannada novelist S.L. Bhyrappa’s works into English

PUBLISHING

  • A new publisher from Goa, Under the Peepal Tree, will focus on Indian literature and translations.
  • The 81st Kannada Sahitya Sammelana saw brisk sales in Kannada books. The meet ended with a resolution to push for Kannada as the medium of instruction in schools of Karnataka.
  • Madras HC dismissed the suit challenging the ‘agreement’ between the Namakkal administration and Perumal Murugan
  • The story behind the harassment of Shireen Dalvi, editor of an Urdu daily who published some Charlie Hebdo cartoons and a very moving personal statement by her.
  • The Uttar Pradesh government says it will renovate, restore the scholar Dara Shikoh’s library in Agra
  • At long last, Kumaon University will introduce courses on language, literature in Kumaoni, Garhwali
  • Bollywood star Twinkle Khanna, who has been writing her “Mrs Funnybones” columns about her life, has reportedly signed a 3 book deal with Penguin Random House India.
  • Devapriya Roy explains why book editors should not date.
  • Private and public libraries in India find it difficult to preserve and insure manuscripts.
  • James Crabtree on India’s publishing boom: the rise of local mass-market authors
  • India at the Cuba Book Fair
  • New Malayalam fiction finds more readers.

EVENTS

  • In Kolkata, before a book fair, artists rally behind Charlie Hebdo.
  • At an event honouring Telugu poet Geddapu Satyam, there was some interesting discussion on the literature of Kalingandhra/North Andhra.
  • Mini Krishnan sees lit fests as an opportunity to meet all kinds of people who love literature, in their own ways
  • Meanwhile, Arshia Sattar wants lit fests to be called “book fests” because if C Bhagat attends it’s not literature, or something. See, I think C-Bags writes bad books, but there’s no denying its literature (yes, bad literature, but literature). Such elitist, pointless snobbery.
  • Marathi publishers will boycott the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Sahitya Sammelan because it’s being held in…Punjab
  • Apparently, there was some ruckus at the Gateway Lit Fest mushaira.
  • March 11 | Dichpally, AP | Seminar: Subaltern Concepts in Indian Writing in English
  • The 22nd All-India Konkani Sahitya Sammelana will be held for three days in Kozhikode in Kerala from February 13.

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 2014 Sahitya Akademi Awards – Part I

ABOUT THE SAHITYA AKADEMI AWARDS:

The Sahitya Akademi Awards are probably the most significant pan-Indian literature awards (the Sahitya Akademi is the equivalent of a National Academy of Letters). I say this because they span 24 languages (the 22 recognised in the Indian Constitution’s 8th Schedule plus English and Rajasthani). This post contains coverage and background on the 2014 Awards: regretfully, not reviews, because I haven’t read all (but one – Jussawala) of the winners. Briefly, the awards are selected by panels of three judges (one panel per language). The prize includes Rs.100,000/-, a plaque, fame, adulation and the envy of one’s fellow humans. Eligible works include volumes of poetry, fiction, criticism, essays, and include translations.

Here is the complete list of winners for the 2014 in English and Hindi (PDFs, Sahitya Akademi website). Part I will cover Assamese to Maithili, Part 2 (forthcoming) Malayalam to Urdu.

ASSAMESE

Arupa Kalita Patangia, Mariam Astin Athaba Hira Barua (Short Stories): The award for Assamese went to Arupa Kalita Patangia, who teaches English at Tangla College in Assam and is one of the most well-known Assamese novelists today. She holds a PhD from Gauhati University (written on women characters in Pearl S Buck’s novels) and has published three novels, nine collections of short stories, a children’s novel and some translations, so far. Last year, she won the Prabina Saikia Literary Award.

  • Books: Two of her previous novels have been translated to English and published by Zubaan Books:The Story of Felanee (translated by Deepika Phukan) and Dawn (translated by Ranjita Biswas).
  • Links: You can read an English translation of her story ‘Ai’ (Mother) in Muse India here.
  • Coverage: Assam Tribune, The Sentinel, Assam Times,

BENGALI

Utpal Kumar Basu, Piya Mana Bhabe (Poetry): Basu belongs to Bengali poetry’s Hungry Generation, a postmodern literary movement (also called, somewhat unmusically, the Hungryalists) that began in the 1960s in Bengal. (This paper by Sanchari Bhattacharya, in English, is a an introduction). A profile by Aryanil Mukherjee says Basu is a geologist by training, although he is now well known as a poet. This excerpt from Amit Chaudhuri’s book on Calcutta includes some conversations with Basu. He won the Ananda Purashkar for Bengali writing in 2006.

  • Books: You can buy volumes of his poetry (in Bengali) from the Parabaas bookstore.
  • Links: There are some dodgy English translations on PoemHunter, some better translations on the Kaurab site. I can’t find published English translations; hopefully, the Sahitya Akademi will translate this collection.
  • Coverage: No Basu-specific coverage in English  that I could find.

BODO

Urkhao Gwra Brahma, Udangnifrai Gidingfinnanei (Return from Freedom, Poetry): The winner for the award in Bodo is a poet, but also a former Member of Parliament (RS) and used to be the head of the All Bodo Student Union. He’s got a blog (mostly in English) and a twitter account (locked).His biodata on the Rajya Sabha website says that he has a number of books published in the Bodo language (no translations listed). He was a member of phitika, a private poetry circle to which he was introduced by Brajendra Kumar Brahma, his uncle and the first winner of the Tagore Award. He heads the UN Brahma Academy, which runs schools across Assam. He writes in Assamese, Bodo and English. (See here)

  • Books: Again, hoping that this book is translated. Translations of Bodo literature are rather rare, though there have been some recent initiatives.
  • Links:
  • Coverage: In a brief statement to the Assam Times, he said, “This is a prestigious award by a big organization in the country. My name figured in the last which I did not expected. It would encourage the new writers,”. A more extended interview in Indian Express has a quote: “I am surprised, and also thrilled. I am also glad I have been elevated from a typical politician to a recognized poet”

DOGRI

Shailender Singh, Hashiye Par (Novel): Singh is a serving member of the Jammu and Kashmir police, and currently serves as a Senior Superintendent (SSP). Singh has degrees in engineering and managementHashiye Par was actually published in 2009, but this year, Oxford brought out an English translation by Suman K Sharma, titled, For A Tree To Grow. It is his first novel, and has been published to some critical acclaim: he’s already won the Ram Nath Shastri Memorial Award for it. Some reviews: Lydia Wahid for Rising Kashmir, Dinesh Sharma for Tinpahar. Singh is also on Twitter.

GUJARATI

Ashvin Mehta (Chhabi Bhitarani (Essays): Although Mehta is known more as a photographer than a writer (Salil Tripathi compared him to Ansel Adams), he wrote several books, as well. A profile at Archer India says, “Mehta didn’t describe himself as a photographer. For him, his art was incidental to celebrating life.” From what I understand, the collection of essays, Chhabi Bhitarani was published in 2010, partly in Gujarati and English. I assume the 2014 prize is for a translation, but I couldn’t find any. There isn’t much coverage, but here are some of his photographs.

  • Books:Chhabi Bhitarani on World Cat, no translations that I can find and some photography books by him, on Amazon
  • Links: –
  • Coverage: –

ENGLISH

Adil Jussawala, Trying to Say Goodbye (Almost Island, 2011): Jussawala is one of the four ‘Bombay Poets’ (along with Gieve Patel, AK Mehrotra, and the late, great Arun Kolatkar). One profile describes his work as a “trenchant critique of the underlying market-driven ethic of the bourgeoisie”. Like some of the other volumes, this was actually published in 2011 by Almost Island. I suppose that I am in a minority amongst the hissy, reverential majority, but I’ve never been a fan. If you ask me, 2013-14 saw many worthy books in English (including poetry) so I’m a little confused by this selection. Nevertheless, much has been written about Jussawala, his life, and work:  Anjum Hasan’s essay in Caravan describes the literary context of his works and the Bombay poets school; Anand Thakore’s essay on his poetry for PIW and AK Mehrotra’s essay on his prose. His remarks on the poverty of Indian writing in English, after he received the award, are already generating controversy.

HINDI

Ramesh Chandra Shah, Vinakay (novel): He was born in 1937 in Almora, Uttarakhand, and taught in universities until he retired in 2000. He served as the Head of the English Department in Bhopal’s Hamidia University, and later at the Nirala Srijanpeeth. He’s written eight novels, several volumes of stories and poems, two plays, several books of essays and has also translated a number of works (from English to Hindi). His wife, too, is a  well-known Hindi writer (Jyotsna Milan) and a translator, notably in Gujarati and Hindi. Shah won the Padma Shri in 2004, which is one of the highest civilian honours in India.

KANNADA

Govindray H Nayak, Uttaraardha (Essays): GH Nayak is a writer, poet and professor of Kannada. He’s previously won the Kannada Sahitya Award, and the Pampa Award for his writing. As a critic, he was unusual in being beloved by one of Kannada’s finest novelists, the recently deceased UR Ananthamurthy. Ananthamurthy was a fan of his critical works, describing the ‘rare objectivity in Nayak’s criticism’. Nayak, in turn, described his close friendship with Ananthamurthy, a relationship spanning six decades. His response to the award has been surprisingly modest: “I know the standard of my writing. I would have been happy if the award was conferred when I was young,”

KASHMIRI

Shad Ramzan, Kore Kakud Pushrith Gome (Poetry): Dr M Shad Ramzan teaches Sufi poetry, folk literature and the cultural history of Kashmir, at Kashmir University. His publications seem to be mainly academic work, criticism and edited volumes thus far. He also has done a number of translations, and won the Akademi’s translation award in 2009 for his translation of ‘Anhaar Te Akus’. He has also won the Harmukh Literary Award in 2007. In 2010, he ran into some trouble for framing a translation question in a university exam on a passage that dealt with the biological evolution of the human body – this led, idiotically to criminal charges of moral turpitude.

KONKANI

Madhavi Sardesai, Manthan (Essays): Dr Madhavi Sardesai, sadly, died only a few days after the Sahitya Akademi awards were announced. She was only 52, and had been battling cancer. This was her second Sahitya Akademi award: she’d earlier won it for a life of Gandhi, in Konkani, titled  ‘Eka Vicharachi Jivit Katha’. Sardesai was born in Portugal and settled in Goa. She was a linguist by training and wrote her PhD on Portuguese influences on Konkani. Her 1993 volume Bhasabaas, preceding this, was an introduction to Konkani linguistics. She’s also known for translating de Exupery’s The Little Prince from the French to Konkani. Sardesai was also the editor of the Konkani monthly, Jaag, for which work she won the Ligoriyo Furtad Trust Prize, ‘Patrakarita Puraskar

MAITHILI

Asha Mishra, Uchat (Novel): I can, unfortunately, find nothing on the author or the book, online. Hopefully some updates after I check out library resources on Maithili writing. Given that the language is spoke by 34.7 million people, you’d think there would be more on this!

The Week in Literature and Translation [November 21-27, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Popular romance writer Ravinder Singh released his new book now, which has the (slightly menacing) title, Your Dreams are Mine Now.
  • An excerpt from Yatrik by Arnab Ray (in English) via DNA.
  • New in paperback is this morass by MJ Peters, embracing every stereotype of colonial India that there is. Elephants? Thuggees? Kali-worshipping cult? Maharajas? Got them all.
  • Upamanyu Chatterjee (of English, August fame) has released his new book, Fairy Tales at Fifty.
  • The third edition of India’s queer mag, Gaysi, will be released in Delhi on 28 November.
  • The Murty Classical Library, run from Harvard, is set to release its first five translations of Indian classics in January 2015.
  • A new set of rare recordings of the Bengali poet and author Shakti Chattopadhyay singing and reciting his work has been released.
  • The Letter‘, an excerpt from Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves, is on Scroll.
  • Easterine Kire’s When the River Sleeps is now available as an Ebook.
  • This is not new, but I came across archives of Mahfil, an academic journal that has published a host of translations of rare Indian writing – all online, freely accessible
  • David Davidar has a new anthology of short stories out.
  • Watch this short film and listen to a recitation of Anup Sethi’s poem, ‘Joote’ (in Hindi)
  • Darius Cooper’s book of short stories (in English) is outThe Fuss About Queens and Other Stories

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Ajay Kamalakaran writes about a 1960s performance of the Ramayana by the Moscow Childrens’ Theatre.
  • Jerry Pinto for the Guardian has a list of his 6 best novels about Mumbai (all English)
  • Ashoka University professor Jonathan Gil Harris on bringing Shakespeare to India.
  • In the Indian Quarterly, Zeeshan Ahmad talks about the rise of Bangla comics.
  • Swarajya magazine, a right wing publication that usually contains rubbish , now has a column on literary translation. Where is this going?

Reviews

  • The unstoppable AG Noorani reviews Jashn e Khusrau, a new collection of writing on Sufi mystics published by the Aga Khan Trust.
  • Gargi Gupta reviews Shubha Menon’s The Second Coming (predictable romance with gender stereotypes, apparently)
  • Deepa Dharmadhikari reviews Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves for Mint.
    • Mahvesh Murad has reviewed in the Dawn, as well
  • Vivek Menezes reviews two books on the Goan diaspora -Selma Carvalho’s A Railway Runs Through: Goans Of British East Africa, 1865-1980, and Reena Martins’Bomoicar: Stories Of Bombay Goans, 1920-1980
  • Priya Gangwani reviews two Indian YA novels with queer themes, for Scroll: Himanjali Sarkar’s Talking of Muskaan, and Payal Dhar’s Slightly Burnt

NEWS, AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • In Karnataka, Lalit Kala Akademi award winners returned the prize money of Rs.10,000, suggesting that it was not enough.
  • Pakistani writer Bilal Tanweer won the Shakti Bhatt Prize for his novel, The Scatter Here Is Too Great (in English)
  • I wrote about the bizarre choices made by the IIC for India’s nominations to the IMPAC Dublin award.
  • Writer, and Telugu actor Gollapudi Maruti Rao has been selected for the Loknayak Foundation Award 2015 for his contribution to the Telugu cinema and literature.

People

  • American poet Vijay Seshadri speaks to Deccan Chronicle about learning to love poetry. He spoke with Forbes mag too.
  • Swati Chandra interviews Moharram Ali, Varanasi’s weaver-poet, for Indian Express.
  • Sridala Swami interviews American poet, Kazim Ali, for Mint.
  • Today is Hindi poet Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s 107th birth anniversary. Follow @sanjay_dixit and @iamrana for live tweets (in Hindi) of some of his poetry.
  • In a disgraceful incident, the Dalit poet ND Rajkumar was silenced by other people at a Sahitya Akademi event, when he said he didn’t belong to a particular literary tradition. Read him on the event, his publisher, and one of his translators.
  • Bushra Alvi interviews Zafar Anjum on his new book on Urdu poet Iqbal.
  • Assamese writer Leena Sarma explains why her eighth novel will be in English and not Assamese.
  • Devika Rangachari on her new YA book, Didda and I, on the Duckbill blog.
  • What has Arundhati Roy been up to, since The God of Small Things? Andrew Anthony finds out.

Publishing and Bookselling

  • Tata has closed 10 outlets of its retail chain Landmark, which sold, amongst other things, books. There are only 11 stores left open now.
  • After being sued by the erstwhile royal family of Dumrao for his unflattering depiction of them in his novel, Chetan Bhagat is now being charged with plagiarism, by a Bihar scholar.
  • Indians love Archie comics.
  • Cambridge University will be putting some of its Sanskrit collections online.
  • An interview with Arpita Das, who runs indie press Yoda Books. Yoda just turned ten.

Events

  • PublicCon 2014 will be held on Dec 3, 2014 at FICCI in Delhi, with the theme ‘Publishing across Platforms’
  • The Times of India’s organised LitFest in Mumbai invited Tarun Tejpal, a journalist and editor now facing rape charges and out on bail, to speak at a panel titled ‘The Tyranny of Power’. Following much protesting, he was disinvited – the organiser said she didn’t want any ‘extraneous noise‘ at the event.
  • A description of Bihar’s Hindi poetry fest, the Bharatiya Kavita Samaroh.
  • Dec 2-4 – A seminar on Literary Activism at Jadavpur University and Presidency University.

The Week in Literature and Translation [November 7-13, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Khem K Aryal’s story, ‘The Displaced’ in the North East Review |  Link
  • B Booroah College in Guwahati will have a new research journal from its Department of Sanskrit | Link
  • An excerpt from Amit Chaudhuri’s introduction to a new volume of poems by AK Mehrotra at Scroll. | Link
  • M Govindan’s Poetry and Renaissance has been reissued | Link
  • Manohar Singh Gill has a new volume of folktales from Lahaul | Link
  • Easterine Kire has a new volume of poetry, My Book of Angels, out | Link
  • Vihang Naik’s anthology of poetry, City Times and other Poems, has been republished. | Link
  • An excerpt from Janice Pariat’s forthcoming novel, Seahorse, in the Hindu Business line | Link
  • Tamil poet Thiruvallavar’s collection of 1400 couplets, the Kural, has been translated to Kannada and Telugu in a project by the Central Institute of Classical Tamil. Forthcoming: translations in Gujarati and Arabic. | Link 

COLUMNS, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Columns and Articles

  • Jaithirth Rao says Pulitzer Prize winning poet Vijay Seshadri is “an American master in the tradition of Whitman, Melville and Eliot.” (That’s a wide range, surely) | Link
  • Pratibha Nandakumar says its time we bridged the gap between classical and modern Kannada | Link
  • Rauf Parekh in Dawn writes of the importance of establishing an authoritative corpus of the works of Iqbal and Ghalib. | Link
  • SN Agragrami has a detailed account of the recently concluded Odisha Lit Fest, in which the importance of regional literature was discussed at length | Link
  • Arunava Sinha writes in Scroll on the need for more translations of Indian literature | Link
  • Reporting on the Chandigarh Lit Fest, Nanki Singh writes about the great disconnects in Punjabi literature | Link
  • Shobha Viswanath of children’s book publisher Karadi Tales says Indian literature for children has received its due | Link
  • Another interview with Kannada lexicographer G Venkatasubbiah on his work. | Link

Reviews

  • Bhaswati Chakravorty in the Telegraph has an early review of Amiya Sen’s selections of Tagore on religion (Oxford India) Link
  • Tanveer Habib reviews Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark’s account of a hostage crisis in Kashmir, ‘The Meadow‘ | Link
  • Zafar Anjum’s biography of Urdu poet, Iqbal, reviewed by Raza Naeem in the Dawn | Link
  • Bijal Vaccharajani for Daily O reviews Himanjali Sankar’s Talking of Muskaan, – YA lit from Duckbill. I’m glad to see Indian YA lit tackle LGBT themes and issues | Link
  • Aishwarya Subramaniam reviews Meena Kandasamy’s The Gypsy Goddess | Link

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • The Konkani Vishwa Awards 2014 were announced: the literature prize went to Edwin J F D’Souza, Mangalore, for his work ‘Kallem Bhangaar and the poetry prize to Sanjiv Verenkar, for his poetry collection ‘Aswasth Surya’. | Link
  • Uttar Pradesh State Government’s literary award, the Bharat Bharati Samman, goes to Doodhnath Singh | Link
  • Prabha Verma won the Asan Smaraka Kavitha Puraskaram 2014 for his contribution to Malayalam poetry. | Link
  • The Avantsa Somasundar literary awards (Telugu) were announced: literature – B.R.V. Prasada Murthy, criticism – Rentala Srivenkateswara Rao, poetry – Endluri Sudhakar, short stories – Sripathi and Vivina Murthy | Link
  • TheMehfil EGangojamun gave awards to three young poets –
    Habib Saifi (Urdu), Vishal Bagh (Hindi) and Tarinder Kaur (Punjabi) | Link
  • The Hindi Sahitya Parishad created 16 new awards for the promotion of Hindi literature. | Link
  • Malayalam author Isaac Eipen won the T.V. Kochu Bava award instituted by the Yuvakala Sahithy for his collection of short stories Pranayathinte Nanarthangal  | Link
  • Hindi poet Kedarnath Singh won the Jnanpith Award for contributions to Hindi literature. | Link
  • Tara Books’ Gobble You Up  by Gita Wolf and Suntia won the 2014 Aesop Accolade. | Link

People

  • In the Hindu, a profile of Kannada lexicographer G. Venkatasubbiah | Link
  • The Kerala State Government will be refurbishing the home of freedom fighter and poet T. Subramanian Thirumumbu. It will now house the Centre for Studies on Farming Culture. | Link
  • Malayalam writer and critic B Hridaykumari, winner of the Kerala Sahitya Akademi award, passed away at the age of 84. | Link
  • Amitav Ghosh, interviewed in Khaleej Times, on the role of writers in politics | Link
  • Showkat Shafi’s obituary for Amin Kamil, the Kashmiri poet who recently passed away. | Link
  • Ananth Padmanabhan on his volume of erotic short stories, Play with Me | Link

Events

  • 7 November 2014 | Seminar on vachana poet Allama Prabhu | Udupi | Link
  • 7-16 November 2014 | Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Festival | Hyderabad | Link
  • 10-11 November 2014 | Kahaani Fest – Children’s Literature | Jaipur, Rajasthan | Link
  • 21 November | Delhi publisher and former bookshop Yoda Press celebrates 10 years | Link
  • 22 November 2014 | ‘Ghadar Movement and Punjabi literature’ – Seminar by the Sahitya Akademi and Punjab Sahit Sabha | Kolkata| Link
  • 26 November 2014 | Seminar on Sanskrit Literature in the 21st Century  – MSU University | Vadodara, Gujarat | Link
  • 12-16 December | World Tulu Festival | Mangalore, Karnataka | Link
  • 6-7 February | Seminar on French Studies in India | MS University, Vadodara | Link

News

  • In a move to promote Hindi globally, the Government of India announced plans to establish Hindi centres (Kendriya Hindi Sansthans) across the world | Link
  • Assam got a new Central Library+ Archive | Link
  • Plans for a Punjabi Academy in Uttarakhand are afoot |  Link
  • The rise of the Kannada wiktionary – second largest amongst Indian lanaguges | Link
  • The Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy released the Unicode version of the Tulu script | Link
  • News from the lit fests (it is lit fest season here in India)
  • Kannada writer Vaidehi has asked the MangaloreU to consider establishing a chair in honour of Kannada poet Kayyara Kinhanna Rai | Link
  • The Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi has established a new chair for Kannada studies | Link

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]

The Week in Literature and Translation [October 9th to 16th, 2014]

New Books, Publications and Translations

Mustansir Dalvi has posted new translations of three poems by Marathi poet Narayan Gangadhar Surve.

Pustak Publications has a new website selling e-books in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Authors already up there include Indira Soundarrajan, Pattukottai Prabhakar, Yandamoori Veerendranath, Neela Padmanabhan, and others.

Satti Khanna’s translation of Vinod Kumar Shukla’s Once it Flowers has been published by Harper Perennials.

A new issue of the North East Review is out.

A trilingual lexicon on 12th century vachana literature in Kannada has been published by the Basavatatva Prachara and Samshodhana Kendra.

A collection of prefaces and introductions written by U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer is to be published.

Gujarat University’s Nirmal Granth Board will be publishing fourtranslations of Kalidasa’s Sanskrit epic, Meghduta (The Cloud Messenger) [English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati] Also, a reminder that Mani Rao’s new translation of Kalidasa’s works, to English, from Aleph will be out this year. She talks about it here.

Bina Biswas has published a new translation of poems by Nasir Ahmad Naseer, titled A Man Outside History.

The Tamil Virtual Academy plans an online wiki for Tamil culture and arts. It’s going to be more wiki than Wikipedia.

Akshay Manwani launched his book on lyricist and poet Sahir Ludhianvi (HarperCollins)

Calls for Submissions / Papers

CFP: Via Kitaab, South Asian Popular Culture, a journal published by T&F is asking for submissions on ‘Graphic novels and visual cultures in India’. Deadline: 14.11.2014

Columns, Reviews, Articles

Ace translator Arunava Sinha was interviewed – he talks about translation, about judging the Hindu Prize and food.

S Ravi reviews Anurag Anand’s The Legend of Amrapali (English) in the Hindu.

Anita Nair reviews J Devika’s translation of KR Meera’s The Hangwoman, in Outlook.

An anonymous column on the endurance of the Sindhi short story.

Malayalam novelist Sethu argues that the lack of experience of war or other major events results in Indian writers focusing on personal tragedies alone. This, Sethu argues forces them to “harp on personal sorrows”. Seems a specious claim to me.

In the wake of India’s mission to Mars, Deepanjana Pal has this fun post on Bengali science fiction.

Mani Rao on her translation of Kalidasa (from the Sanskrit) and the art of translation, generally.

Prakash Belawadi suggests that Kannada writers are officially privileged over all others in Karnataka, and Chandan Gowda responds, saying that’s an absurd claim (they’re ‘societally privileged’). They also debate the Bhyrappa-URA-Karnad spat.

News: Awards, Events, People, Publishers

Cyclone Hudhud has been wrecking parts of the country. One of the worst hit states is Andhra Pradesh, has suffered great losses to lives, livelihoods and property, and now also its historical archives. You can contribute to relief for the victims by going here.

Cyrus Mistry talks about winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and his novels, in The Hindu.

A report by Leonard Fernandes on the fantastic Publishing Next conference that was held in Goa last month.

Yet another litfest – this one in Mumbai, and reportedly, with a focus on Indian authors. I’m not sure about whether this means authors writing in English alone; hopefully not. Mumbai’s other major lit fest, Tata Lit Live, will take place from October 30 to November 2nd. More interesting than either of these is Queer Ink’s new Safe Spaces festival (Q Fest).

Comic-Con Hyderabad begins on October 10.

Five poets have been shortlisted for the Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize this year: Sridala Swami (Escape Artist), Ranjit Hoskote (Central Time); Arundhathi Subramaniam (When God is a Traveller); Keki N Daruwalla (Fire Altar) and Joy Goswami (Selected Poems, translated by Sampurna Chatterji).

Sandeep Balakrishna writes about the Girish Karnad-URA spat.

The Jibananda Puroshkar 2014, in honour of Jibananda Das and awarded for Bengali writing, was given to Imtiar Shamim for prose and Khaled Hossain for poetry, this year.

Karnataka plans a massive convention in April or May next year – representatives from all literary academies/ peethas will be there, including the Karnataka Tulu, Konkani, Kodava and Beary Academies.

The Urdu drama festival will start on Monday next week, and will feature two Urdu writers specifically:  Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Begum Qudsia Zaidi.

The 7th International Urdu Conference begins in Pakistan today, and atleast four Indian poets are participating.

There has been much angst and reflection on the fact that Indian-born Neel Mukherjee didn’t win the Booker this year.

K T M Iqba, an Indian-origin Singaporean who writes in Tamil, has won Singapore’s Cultural Medallion this year.

Free Speech and Censorship

The anti-caste Forward Press has been raided by the Delhi police for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments (this is a penal offence) of Hindus by retelling a mythological story. You can read the issue here. Dalit publisher Navayana has also issued a statement.

The Week in Literature and Translation [October 2nd to 8th, 2014]

New Books, Publications and Translations

Arun Ferreira plans to write a memoir about his experiences in jail and it will be published by Aleph. He also recommends these six books about Indian prisons. The list includes a translation of Varavara Rao’s Telugu diaries, and Iftikhar Gilani’s Urdu translation of My Days in Prison.

K.M. Balasubramaniam, a founding member of the Dravidian Self-Respect movement and an associate of EV Ramaswamy Periyar, was also a translator. 46 years ago, he translated Manickavachakar’s Thiruvachagam and Thiruvalluvar’s Tirukural from Tamil to English. His translation of Thiruvallavar will be released again this year.

Arunava Sinha has posted a translation of chapter 1 of Samim Ahmad’s Bengali novel, The Seventh Heaven.

Naga writer J Longkumer has published a book of poetry titled “Gift in the Poet: Earth Poetry”.

A new issue of Out of Print magazine is out. It includes a translation of Shrilal Shukla’s short story ‘Among the Hunters’ by Daisy Rockwell.

A new issue of the Indian Quarterly is out. It includes an excerpt from Janice Pariat‘s new book, Seahorse.

Actor Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography, And Then One Day, is getting a lot of press.

Blaft Publications has reissued a translation of ‘The Palace of Kottaipuram’, a short story by Indra Soundar Rajan.

Outlook has published an excerpt from Pramod Kapoor’s new book on Gandhi.

The taxing work of untranslating a translation: this is fascinating. A “translation slam” works with Akhil Sharma’s writing at the Writers of India Festival in Paris.

ST Yapang Lkr has released a novel in Ao, titled “Kü Mulung Naro Tsüki”

Columns, Reviews, Articles

Prasenjit Chowdhury in Hindustan Times writes about how English can be the ambassador for bhasa literature in India.

David Davidar in Hindustan Times writes about the stories that the middle class (English speaking?) Indian can access.

Somak Ghoshal reviews Saurav Mohapatra’s latest comic book, ‘Way Of The Warrior: The Legend of Abhimanyu’.(English)

Sumana Mukherjee reviews two new Delhi novels: Avtar Singh’s Necropolis and Saskya Jain’s Fire under Ash (both in English)

Nilanjana Roy interviews Neel Mukherjee, they talk about his novel, The Lives of Others, which is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

Trisha Gupta writes about Vishal Bhardwaj’s films and the portraya of Shakespeare’s women, in them.

Zafar Anjum in Kitaab on the rise of literary journals in Asia.

Saudamini Jain writes about the forthcoming new translation of Kalidasa’s (Sanskrit) works, by Mani Rao, from Aleph.

Actor, writer and poet Vibha Rani speaks with SS Ghosh on the future of Maithili literature.

EPW is carrying an article by Srinivasan Burra on the withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus following pressure from right wing extremists. Ajay Skaria has also weighed in, examining provisions of the Indian Penal Code that allow the banning of books on the grounds of ‘hurt’ religious sentiments.

News: Awards, Events, People, Publishers

At the Goa Lit Fest, there was a lively discussion on the privileging of English over other Indian languages.

A large collection of rare books on the erstwhile Maharaja Ranjit Singh were auctioned by Chiswick in London.

The Utkal Literature Festival will celebrate, amongst other things, writing in Odia, and translations from Odia to English and other languages. [10th and 11th October, Bhubaneswar]

This new website, Rockstand, plans to sell more ebooks in Indian languages. There’s quite a few already, check it out. They’re available for phones/tablets only for now.

The Navjivan Trust also plans to make available all of Gandhi’s works as ebooks.

Julie Sam writes about a new literature festival in India that will celebrate popular fiction.

Granta Mag is accepting submissions for its special India issue until April 1, next year.

Rajni George discusses the challenges faced by family-owned publishers in India today, in OPEN.

In a pleasant and unusual move, Union HRD Minister acknowledged the work of an author from one of the NE states, and called for chairs in honour of Lakshminath Bezbarua, the Assamese writer and translator.

Saeed Naqvi calls for more accessible spoken Hindi , as opposed to formal and Sanskritised language.

English department of the Government College, Mananthavady, is organising a national seminar on ‘Dalit Literature, Identity, Gender and Culture’ at the college auditorium at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday

Toto Funds the Arts had an “After Shakespeare” event in Bangalore.  They’ve extended the deadline on applications for their 2015 awards to October 21.

Cutting Tea Tales is an interesting initiative from Bangalore, aimed at getting storybooks to underprivileged children.

Javed Akhtar, poet and lyricist, will be presenting a new TV pack (program) via TATA Sky, on Urdu poetry.

Federation of Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Associations in India wants online booksellers to stop granting discounts.