Tag Archives: Manipuri

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 2014 Sahitya Akademi Awards – Part II

The Sahitya Akademi Awards are awards for literature, presented annually for 24 languages in India. The Sahitya Akademi is a government funded and run national academy of letters. The 2014 awards were presented in December, and this is a brief run down of the winners, organised by language, with links to online content, translations and news. Part I covered Assamese to Maithili, and this part covers awards for Malayalam to Urdu.

MALAYALAM

Subhash Chandran, Manushyanu Oru Aamukham (Novel, DC Books): Subhash Chandran writes short stories and novels in Malayalam. He’s a journalist by profession.  Manushyanu Oru Aamukhampublished in 2009, has been tremendously well-received – it has already won the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, and the Odakkuzhal award, as well as the Bhasha Institute’s Basheer Puraskaaram and Kovilan Puraskaaram in 2012. The book, like non-English literature often is, was serialised  in the Malayalam weekly Mathrubhumi  before DC Books published it. In a reflection on the national obsession with the purported wisdom of old men, he is often described as a ‘young’ writer (he’s 42). Chandran is part of a group of excellent young Malayalam writers, including the incredible KR Meera (whose Hangwoman/Aarachar ought to have been a contender!)

  • Books: Buy Manushya Oru Aamukham (in Malayalam) at DC Books, and his other books (in Malayalam) at the Indulekha online bookstore. A translation has not been published as yet.
  • Links: Read his first story in English, ‘America!’ in Caravan.
  • Coverage: In the Malayalam press, I expect (I don’t know the language at all, so no links, I’m afraid) but some English coverage too – Madhyamam, Times of India.

MANIPURI/MEETEI

Naorem Bidyasagar, Khung-Gang Amasung Refugee (poetry Cultural Forum Manipur, 2011): the Manipuri award was announced a little after the remaining awards. Bidyasagar is a lecturer at GC College, Silchar, in Assam, where he teaches Manipuri. The book itself is a collection of poems that “deal with the problem of insurgency in Manipur, the socio-economic and contemporary problems being faced by the people of the neighbouring state.”

MARATHI

Jayant Vishnu Narlikar, Chaar Nagarantale Maaze Viswa (autobiography): Jayant Narlikar is an astrophysicist, very well reputed, and has previously won two of India’s highest civilian honours for contributions to science. In an elegant twist, he has turned his hand recently to writing science fiction in Marathi, some of which has been translated into English. He initially wrote under a pseudonym (“N.V. Jagtap”) for Marathi magazines, and won the annual Marathi Vidnyan Competition for his story ‘Krishna Vivar’. He’s won the SA this year however, for his autobiography, which is still available only in Marathi. It details his life in four cities: Varanasi, Cambridge, Mumbai and Pune. (If you have kids who use the Hornbill English texts, you’ll find his name familiar: the story ‘Adventure’ in the Class XI book is by him).

NEPALI

Nanda Hankhim, Satta Grahan (Short Stories): Nanda Hankhim is very well known in Nepali literature circles, and has previously won a bunch of prizes: the Nepali Sahitya Sansthan Puruskar, Ratnashree Puruskar, Bhanu Bhakta Puraskar (he apparently returned this last one), etc. He writes for both, adults and children, and his works include novels, stories, poetry and plays. I can’t find links to books or translations online. I hope we’ll see some soon.

ODIA

Gopalkrushna Rath, Bipula Diganta (Poetry): Rath has previously won the state Odisha Sahitya Akademi award for 2003-04. He’s currently a member of the Akademi’s General Council.

PUNJABI

Jaswinder, Agarbatti (Poetry, Chetna Parkashan, 2011): Jaswinder Singh is apparently a former Naxalite whose first collection of ghazals (lyric poetry, rhyming couplets with a refrain) was published by contributions from his former colleagues. The ghazal has traditionally been in Urdu, but some say that this award means increasing recognition for the ghazal in Punjabi. Singh is now an engineer, posted with the Guru Gobind Singh Super Thermal Plant in Ropar and has published six volumes of poetry thus far. He says, himself, that “Earlier, I wrote progressive poetry that was called “Jujharu Kavita” (revolutionary poetry)…..“After reading the poetry of Jagtar, Misha and Surjit Pattar, I became inclined to write ghazals,”

RAJASTHANI

Rampal Singh Rajpurohit, Sundar Nain Sudha (Short Stories): There’s nothing (atleast, in the English and Hindi media) that I can find on the writer or the book.

SANTALI

Jamadar Kisku, Mala Mudam (Play): Not much available. Here’s a link to Mala Mudam.

SINDHI

Gope ‘Kamal’, Sija Agyaan Buku (Poetry): Gope Daryani, who writes as ‘Kamal’ is from Uttar Pradesh, apparently now settled in Dubai. He writes short stories, poetry and novels, and has previously won a Sindhi literature award for his collection of ghazals, Sijja Agyaan Buku (Sooraj ke Aage Oak). He’s also won the Central Hindi Directorate Award in 1980 (for writing in Sindhi)

  • Books:-
  • Links: Here’s an English translation by Param Abhichandani, of a story by Kamal titled, ‘Search for Blood’
  • Coverage: –

TAMIL

Poomani, Agngnaadi (Novel): ‘Poomani‘ is the nom de plume of Tamil writer Pooliththurai Manickavasagam. He was born and lives in Kovilpatti. The winning novel was published in 2012 to acclaim: it’s a massive 1,200 page tome that describes the lives of a family over several generations, spanning 200 years, detailing, in particular, caste-related riots. He’s won the first Gitanjali Literary Award for it. A detailed profile in Caravan by N Kalyan Raman says that the research that went into this novel was made possible through a grant by the Indian Foundation of the Arts in Bengaluru. Raman’s essay is a good introduction to the novel and to the author and will simply have to do until someone finds the courage to publish a translation. (TNIE has predictably called it a ‘subaltern saga‘ . Poomani refuses to be identified as a ‘Dalit’ writer

TELUGU

Rachapalem Chandrashekara Reddy, Mana Navalalu Mana Kathanikalu (Literary Criticism): RC Reddy is a Telugu writer and teacher,. He’s Professor for Telugu at the Yogi Vemana University, in Kadapa. He’s previously won awards for his critical writing on Telugu literature, but his views on this are clear: he said in an interview with The Hindu that “literature should have an ideological base” and that he does not believe in art for art’s sake. He has previously edited eight volumes of Dalit literature in Telugu, along with Lakshmi Narasaiah.
  • Books: There’s a bunch of books available, in Telugu, here and here.
  • Coverage: Naturally the Telugu press is on it (my knowledge of the language is limited to some conversational phrases and some very rude words) but The Hindu has this interview.
Munawwar Rana, Shahdaba (Poetry): Munawwar Rana is that rare and lovely thing: an Indian writer, who doesn’t write in English, and yet has an active web presence. This twitter feed, either maintained by or for him, often contains couplets of poetry, including a rather charming thank you to all those who congratulated him on the award. (He also did a Google Hangout on Dec 25). Rana has explained why he writes in Urdu (although he’s as comfortable in Hindi, being from Uttar Pradesh) -“The simple thought of discrimination. The day this word was born Urdu lost its stature. It was never the language of Muslims. It was the language of the common people.” If you understand Hindi/ Urdu, this interview with Ravish Kumar of NDTV is well worth your time.
  • Books: His publications page on his website.
  • Links: Here‘s a large number of ghazals (in Devnagari script – mostly in Urdu, I think) and in Roman script here.
  • Coverage: Plenty (apart from his own) -in English:  Hindustan Times,  and in Hindi: Nai Duniya, plus a link to all the coverage on his facebook page.

The Sarda Translation Awards, 2014 [Manipuri]

The Imphal Free Press reports that Tayenjam Bijokumar Singh won the 2014 Sarda Translation Award, for translations from and to the Manipuri language. The award was presented by the Sahitya Thoupang Lup (known as the ‘Sathoulup’),on International Translation Day. The award was apparently instituted in 2003 in honour Ningombam Sarda Devi, but not much information on previous winners is available.

Tayenjam Bijokumar Singh has been writing and translating in Manipuri for several years, now. Along with Robin Ngangom, he’s published a translation of poetry by Manipuri poet Saratchand Thiyam titled Saffonbird, earlier this year. Last year, he wrote a selection of short stories in English, titled Ramu Prasad’s Angel,  which was published by Partridge Press.

In 2005, he won the Katha Award for translation, and his short story, ‘Mama, I’m Up Here’ won the Sulekha-Penguin Online Writing Contest. Muse India has a profile of him, here. He’s also on twitter.

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.