Tag Archives: DSC South Asian Literature Prize

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


  • 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 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


  • 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.



  • 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


  • 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.


The Week In Literature and Translation [23rd-29th October, 2014]


  • Malayalam writer Sethu’s collection of short stories, A Guest for Arundhathi and Other Stories has been translated to English by K Kunhikrishnan and published by Palimpsest Publishing House. [Amazon]
  • Penguin has published The Taste of Words, An Introduction to Urdu Poetry, which has been edited and translated by Mir Ali Raza and introduced by Gulzar. [Penguin]
  • Amit Chaudhuri’s new book, Odysseus Abroad has been published. [Penguin]
  • Urdu writer Shahnawaz Zaidi’s poetry volume, The Meaning of Art, has been translated into English [Daily Times]
  • An excerpt from Zafar Anjum’s new book, Iqbal. [Kitaab]
  • Narendranath Mitra’s short story, Ras [The Caravan]
  • An excerpt from Avtar Singh’s English novel, Necropolis [The Medium]
  • Penguin has released the cover of Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s new book, The Sun That Rose from the Earth [Penguin’s Twitter]


Columns and Articles

  • Somak Ghoshal in Livemint says its been a good year for erotic writing from India, and reviews some of the latest books. [Livemint]
  • Elen Turner’s article, “Indian Feminist Publishing and the Sexual Subaltern” in Rupkatha journal is available online.
  • Amir Suhail Wani writes on poetry and purpose in Urdu, with reference to poets Altaf Husssain Haali Allama Iqbal and Mir Ghulam Rasool Nazki [Greater Kashmir]
  • Aakar Patel has a theory about why two Indian books- Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others, and Naipaul’s A Bend in the River, were not given the Booker. [Livemint]


  • Alice Albinia reviews writer Mirza Waheed’s debut novel, The Book of Gold Leaves in the Financial Times [FT]
  • A review of The Taste of Words, An Introduction to Urdu Poetry edited by Mir Ali Raza, in Outlook. [Outlook]
  • Bijal Vaccharani reviews Anushka Ravisankar and Priya Sundram’s ‘Captain Coconut & The Case of the Missing Bananas’ [The Alternative]
  • Joanna Lobo reviews Sunil Gangopadhyay’s collection of short stories, Primal Woman, translated from the Bengali by Aruna Chakravarty [DNA]
  • Mathangi Subramaniam reviews Sri Lankan writer Rohini Mohan’s The Seasons of Trouble [Aerogram]



  • The longlist for the 2014 DSC Prize is out. Elen at the South Asia Book Blog expressed some disappointment with the selection.
  • Writer Prafulla Das won the 2014 Sarala Award for writing in Odia. [Orissa Diary]
  • The All India Konkani Writers’ Organization (AIKWO) has announced awards for the most promising books in Konkani, in the Roman and Kannada scripts – Willy Goes for Kotrin and Pio Fernandes for Tujea Moga Khati [TOI]
  • KR Meera won the 38th Vayalar Rama Varma Memorial Literary Award for 2014. [ToI on the ceremony, Madhyamam on the award]


  • The Kannada Book Authority, which has been dormant for four years, awoke and ordered 1,781 for 2010. A small attempt at attacking their backlog.[Bangalore Mirror]
  • The Odia Sahitya Akademi celebrated writer and dramatist Pranabandhu Kar’s centenary last week. [TNIE]
  • Scholars ask for a celebration to remember Assamese writer Padmanath Gohain Baruah [Assam Tribune]
  • The Kannada Sahitya Akademi is unable to agree on a location for their next annual sammelan. [TNIE] Could it be Gulbarga? [The Hindu]
  • An event to remember Bengali writer Jibananda Das was held in Barisal, in Bangladesh. [Daily Star]
  • An event to remember UR Ananthamurthy, Kannad writer, will be held in Mysore [The Hindu]
  • In Guwahati, a day long seminar to remember writer Dr Biren Bhattacharya [Assam Tribune]
  • Odia writer Manoj Das returned the money he received from the scam-hit Seashore Group, for advisory work on their magazine. [Indian Express]
  • In a gesture of decency, pulp writer Chetan Bhagat has expressed the intention of ceasing to write books. [DNA]
  • Vote for the 25 books that influenced world literature on WLT – on the list, Ambai’s In a Forest, a Deer; Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. [WLT]
  • Assamese writer Aruni Kashyap is interviewed by Khaleej Times, talks about living in the middle of armed occupation and insurgency in Assam: “We lived in this normalised sense of fear.” [Khaleej Times]
  • In TimeOut Mumbai, an interview with Bengali writer and translator, Arunava Sinha [TimeOut]
  • Ziya us Salaam on meeting Punjabi writer Ajeet Cour [The Hindu]
  • Abhijit Nikam has a library on wheels, in Pune. [Pune Mirror]
  • The Government of India’s e-Bhasha platform, which will develop Indic language content, will be rolled out in 2 months [Medianama]
  • Harper Collins has upped royalties for online books sales [HarperCollins]


  • Penguin Annual Lecture | November 12 | Mumbai | Poster [Dan Brown is such a bizarre choice]
  • Tata Lit Live | Mumbai | October 30-Nov 2nd | Event website
  • Q Fest | Mumbai | November 9 | Web page
  • Sharjah International Book Fair | Sharjah, UAE | November 5-15, 2014 | Gulf Today (lots of Indian writers will be there)
  • ‘Global Tulu Festival | December 12th, 2014 | Bangalore | The Hindu


The Week In Literature and Translation [October 17th to 23rd, 2014]


  • I am Malala, by Malala Yousafzai, has been translated into Kannada by journalist B S Jayaprakasha Narayana
  • An excerpt from Iqbal by Zafar Anjum, a forthcoming biography of the Urdu writer and poet (Random House India, 2014)
  • On Scroll, listen to three audio renditions of Punjabi poet Shiv Kumar Batalvi’s work.
  • The Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association have launched a new magazine Leap+. See the first issue here.
  • Via La.Lit, an excerpt from the English translation of Nepali writer Khagendra Sangroula’s memoir.
  • Watch Sita Sings the Blues, the Ramayana from Sita’s perspective, on Youtube.
  • Arunava Sinha’s translation of Bani Basu’s The Fifth Man appears to be ready.
  • Caravan has published translations of Telugu poetry by Siva Reddy, Ismail and Varavara Rao, by Raj Karamchedu, and English poetry by Saroj Bal.
  • Ashok Mitra’s Calcutta Diary, a collection of essays on living in Calcutta, has been republished by Routledge.


Columns and Articles

  • Where were the non-English Indian books at the Frankfurt Book Fair, ask Geraldine Rose and Sridhar Gowda (Bangalore Mirror). A fair question, that ends up, unfortunately in hankering over the lack of an Indian winner for the Nobel again.
  • Lalitha J has a listicle of libraries in Chennai.
  • Kuldeep Kumar in The Hindu on lesbian literature in Hindi.
  • An interview with Tamil Indian-origin poet, KTM Iqbal, who won the Singapore Medallion for Culture last week.
  • Meena Menon on visiting Urdu poet Ghalib’s home, in Ballimaran.
  • Mythily Ramachandran on the emerging Little Free Library movement in India.
  • Vikram Barhat for BBC on locating and selling rare Indian books.
  • Thakur writes about the importance of new English writing on Nepal, in an op-ed for E-Kantipura.
  • Bhavani Raman in the latest Economic and Political Weekly reviews a new history of classical Tamil literature by V Rajesh.
  • Kuldeep Kumar in the Hindu writes about LGBTQ representations in Hindi literature.
  • Snigdha Poonam writes on the rise of MBA graduates publishing novels in India.


  • Eunice D’Souza reviews Ashok Srinivasan’s collection of short stories, Book of Common Signs (Fourth Estate 2014) in the Bangalore Mirror. “..Srinivasan lets himself down by turning out the usual treacle.”
  • SB Easwaran in Outlook is all praise for the new Penguin India reprints of Raja Rao’s novels and works.Zafar Anjum writes about the debt that Indian literature in English owes to Raja Rao’s Kanthapura.
  • Paromita Vohra reviews Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend.



  • The Language Committee of the Wikipedia Foundation has endorsed the project for a Maithili Wikipedia.
  • Dr Tarannum Riyaz, noted critic and poet, has been awarded the SAARC literary award, 2014.
  • The longlist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, 2015 has been announced.
  • The shortlists for the Tata Literature Live awards for best first book (fiction and non-fiction), book of the year (fiction and non-fiction), and business book have been announced.
  • The Samanvay Bhasha Samman for this year will be awarded to Hindi poet Ashok Vajpeyi.
  • Mandharke Madhava Pai has won the Basti Vaman Shenoy Vishwa Konkani Seva Award for services to the Konkani language and for translations.
  • Publishing houses in India have formed three associations to tackle predatory pricing by Amazon and Flipkart. Malavika Velayanikal has an overview.
  • Wikisource has launched a new open access platform for Odia.
  • The Odia poet Ramakant Rath is among 13 other persons who were recognised by the Odisha government for their contribution to the Odia people.


  • Telugu writer and radio artist Turaga Janaki Ammal passed away. She was 80 years old. We havean obit with some resources and translations.
  • Tamil writer Rajam Krishnan passed away. She was 90 years old. We have an obituary and links to some of her works.


  • The schedule for the best litfest that India has – Samanvay is out. It is one of the few festivals that will cover literature from all over the country, and not just in English.
  • Punjabi University in collaboration with Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi, organised a two-day seminar on “100 years of Punjabi theatre”, dedicated to noted playwright and director Balwant Gargi
  • News reports from the ongoing International Urdu Festival, in Karachi – The Express Tribune, The News, Dawn,
  • News reports from the Urdu Drama Festival in Delhi – The Hindu.
  • The Chandigarh Lit Fest is revising its format to have seminar-type sessions
  • Moscow hosted a Hindi conference last week.


  • An interview with Ranjit Hoskote on Hyderabad, and poetry.
  • An interview with Vijay Seshadri, who won the Pulitzer for poetry.

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 [25th September to 1st October, 2014]

New Books, Publications and Translations

Hindi author Amritlal Nagar’s account of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 has been translated into English and published by Harper Perennials as ‘Colours of the Cage’ (Ghadar Ke Phool)

Amitava Kumar will be publishing a new collection of essays, titled ‘Lunch with a Bigot’ with Duke University Press.

Rampur’s Raza Library apparently holds an old Persian manuscript of the Ramayana, written by a scholar  in 1715.

The privately-run Oriental Archives Research Centre in Udupi, Karnataka, is going to attempt to digitise palm-leaf and copper-plate inscriptions in Unicode. The bulk of the inscriptions are written in Tulu-Malayalam.

Authors’ Press in Delhi has published two books by Bhagaban Jayasinh; ‘Door to Despair’ and ‘Modernism in Odia Poetry’.

William Dalrymple reports that we might be getting a new translation of 9th century Tamil poet Tirumankai’s work, by Archana Venkatesan.

Columns, Reviews and Criticism

Gargi Gupta in DNA reviews poet Keki N Daruwalla’s latest collection, Fire Altar: Poems on the Persians and the Greeks.

Mihir Sharma in the Business Standard writes on censorship of Indian literature, and what authors -and others – can do to move around it.

News: Awards, Events, Publishing, People

The jury for the 2015 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature has been announced: Keki N Daruwalla, John Freeman, Michael Worton, Razi Ahmed and Maithree Wicrkramasinghe.

Telugu poet Theresh Babu Pydi passed away. He had liver disease.

The Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize shortlist was announced.

Tayenjam Bijoykumar Singh won the Sharda Translation Award 2014, for translation from and to Manipuri.

Over at Love German Books, a proposal to have a prize for women’s books in translation.

Reports from the Bangalore Literature Festival, which concluded last week and had panels on Kannada literature and translations: The New Indian Express, The Hindu.

The Katara Literature Prize promises translations of the winners into various languages, including Hindi.

The Konkani Bhasha Mandal will present awards for 2014 later this week, and the lsit of awardees is here. To my knowledge, none of these is out in translation yet, although I hope some will be, later on.

A minor spat broke out when Kannada author Girish Karnad spoke of the recently deceased UR Ananthamurthy at a screening of a biographical documentary on the latter. Apparently, Karnad called Ananthamurthy’s works “unreadable” and K.V. Narayan (Chairman of the Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati Authority) replied, saying Karnad’s works “did not reach the common man.” Children, children.

In Livemint,an interview with the fabulous Suniti Namjoshi, who wrote the Aditi fables for children.

The National Book Trust is having a fest, come Saturday, in Thiruvananthapuram.

Robert Yeo, composer from Singapore, has a new production titled Kannagi, based on the epic poem, the Silapathikaram.