Tag Archives: David Davidar

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 [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 [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.