Tag Archives: Kannada

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 Week In Literature and Translation [Jan 23-29, 2015]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • DD Kosambi’s seminal An Introduction to the Study of Indian History has been translated to Telugu.
  • Prajwal Parajuly’s ‘The Gurkha’s Daughter’ has been translated into Nepali
  • Poet Javed Akhtar has translated 8 Tagore songs to Hindi; to be sung by Sangeeta Dutt
  • After some drama, Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore has been translated to Bengali.
  • A new website on Kannada poet Kanakdasa contains vast amounts of material in English and Kannada
  • Watch Navayana’s Annual Lecture, delivered by Aboriginal writer Ali Cobby Eckermann
  • Two works by historian and author S Settar have been translated to Kannada – Inviting Death and Pursuing Death
  • The Konkani Bhasha Mandal has released a pettul (treasure trove) of children’s writing in Konkani.
  • Speaking Tiger Books has their lineup and website running!

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Arunima Mazumdar in Livemint says festivals are giving children’s storytelling a boost.
  • Here’s an excellent reference list of contemporary Hindi poets to follow, prepared by Ranjeet Pratap Singh (of Pratilipi, where you can read most of these poets).
  • Pratilipi, an online archive of Indian writing in several languages, has posted an interesting user analysis for 2014  (“Less than 25% of our visitors are female but just like our older readers, they visit more often (35%), and read significantly more (37%)”)
  • Irfan Mehraj writes in the Kashmir Dispatch on radical Kashmiri poet Kashmiri poet Abdul Ahad Azad (What is life but the book of change?/ Change – more change – and yet more change!)
  • TCA Srinivasa-Raghavan rants here about the vulgarity of literature awards and festivals and recommends supporting libraries instead
  • Min Pun has a fascinating column on the debate surrounding the inclusion of English writers in the Nepali canon.
  • Jash Sen on the evolution of Bengali detective Byomkesh Bakshi, from Bandopadhyay’s novels to Bollywood
  • Here’s Anuradha Sengupta’s literary guide to Kolkata.
  • Vikas Datta on politically incorrect satire in Urdu poetry

Reviews

  • Reviews of Anita Anand’s new biography of Princess Sophia Duleep Singh are floating in – here’s Navtej Sarna for India Today, William O’Connor for The Daily Beast,
  • Gargi Gupta reviews Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves for DNA.
  • Are techie writers graduating from sordid romances? Here’s a review of Jaimeet Patel’s An Exceptional Case.
  • T.D. Ramakrishnan’s new Malayalam novel is inspired by rights activist and feminist Dr. Rajani Thiranagama

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • Arundhati Subramaniam won the inaugural Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize for Poetry – here are nine poems from her book, When God is  a Traveller.
  • British writer Ahmad Lunat wins the Gujarat Darpan Award for Ajaanya – “Strangers” (short stories)
  • Disappointed that Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland won the DSC Prize. Ok, you disagree. This is my opinion.
  • Vishnunarayanan Namboothiri won the the Ezhuthachan Prize 2014 f

People

  • Beloved Indian artist, RK Laxman, who drew fantastic political cartoons, passed away.
  • Veteran Marathi writer MD Hatkananglekar passed away at 89
  • Former Union Minister, teacher and translator Sarojini Mahishi passes away at 88
  • Kannada writer writer S. M. Vrushabhendra Swamy passes away at 88.
  •  Dr Jose Pereira, Sanskrit scholar, historian, musicologist, writer, linguist and artist, passes away at 84.
  • Bengaluru celebrated the centenary of Kannada poet KS Narasimhaswamy, famous for his 1942 collection of poems, Mysore Mallige.
  • Ruskin Bond says, I’m a writer because I am a reader.

Publishing / Industry news

  • Navayana is offering a special discount on their beautiful graphic novel based on Ambedkar’s life, written by publisher S Anand and Srividya Natarajan and illustrated beautifully by Gond artists Durgabai and Subhash Vyam.
  • HarperCollins publisher Karthika VK talked to HT about censorship and publishing in India. Nothing new here.
  • Support is pouring in from the writing community for Perumal Murugan – from Salem in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore , and Ongole in AP.  Author Anita Nair made a statement, too.  Arun Janardhan, who went to Namakkal (where Murugan lives) has a story from the local people. Harish Nambiar blames the author for not standing up to critics. Overall I would recommend this essay by V Geetha on the entire controversy.
  • Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW), University of Delhi, has set up a new translation centre
  • An attempt to edit Kuvempu’s poem ‘Nada Geethe’ meets with protesting schoolkids.

Events

* edited to correct the description of Pratilipi (it’s not just for Hindi writing) and to add the TimesLitFest Bengaluru in events.

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

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

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

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

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

Reviews

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

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

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

People

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

Publishing and Industry

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

Events

The 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 [Dec 12-18, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

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

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

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

Reviews

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

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

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

People

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

Publishing

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

Events

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

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

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

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

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

Reviews

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

NEWS, AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

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

People

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

Publishing and Sales

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

Events

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

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

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • 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, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

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]

Reviews

  • 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]

NEWS: AWARDS, EVENTS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHERS

Awards

  • 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]

News

  • 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]

Events

  • 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