Tag Archives: Marathi

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 Fortnight in Literature and Translation [Dec 26 2014 – Jan 8, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • There were a couple of books to look out for in 2015 lists – DNA, Jaya Bhattacharji for Deccan Chronicle,
  • K Jayakumar has written a new commentary ‘Apaarathayodu Anuraagapoorvam’ on Tagore’s Gitanjali, in Malayalam (Mathrubhumi Books)
  • Two Assamese books translated to Malayalam: Pranab Kumar Barman’s poetry translated into Bengali by Sudipa Bhattacharjee as Pagli Brishti Porche, Dekho Dekho  and Pankaj Kumar Dutta’s short story collection translated by Bidhisha Ghose as Fugu Macher Galpo.
  • There is (justifiably) much excitement over the upcoming Murty Classical Library, which will be publishing five new translations from India’s classical canon, from five languages! Reports from the Economic Times, The Telegraph,
  • Bidyasagar Narzary, Sahitya Akademi award winner, has released a new novel in Bodo: Malotini Dao Moina
  • Assamese journalist and writer Saurav Kumar Chaliha’s translations and non-fiction have been digitised
  • Out of Print‘s December issue is out: stories by Manju Kak, Altaf Tyrewala, more
  • Kindle magazine’s special issue on Bangladesh is out.
  • Chenthil Nathan’s Tamil translation of Manto’s story, Toba Tek Singh
  • I’m thrilled to learn that Ruswa’s The Madness of Waiting is being translated to English by Krupa Shandilya, Taimoor Shahid for Zubaan Books

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

  • I don’t understand the point of articles like this: in ET, a plaintive complaint: “Will anyone start an Indian Year of Books?” Dear author, why don’t you?
  • Poet Tishani Doshi reviews Manohar Shetty’s collection of poems, Living Room.
  •  Rohini Nair says Aatish Taseer’s new book is difficult, but ultimately worth it. Vineet Roy, in BusinessLine also reviews.
  • Aishwarya Subramaniam reviews two recent YA lit novels from India.
  • Vaishna Roy reviews Somnath Batyabal’s racy new new cop thriller
  • SB Pisharoty reviews Indrani Raimedhi’s book, My Half of the Sky, which chronicles the life journey of 12 women from the North East.
  • Arunava Sinha asks, why isn’t translation the big story of Indian publishing?
  • Anthony Cummins reviews Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves
  • Karan Deep Singh, on how memories of WWII have endured in Indian folk songs
  • How technology is helping the visually-impaired access libraries at Delhi University
  • Vikrant Pande on the funniest Marathi writer of all time, Pu La Deshpande
  • Kuldeep Kumar on how Shrilal Shukla’s Raag Darbari endures
  • Asif Farrukhi in Dawn on the year in Urdu novels
  • Sufi Showkat reviews a new volume of protest poetry from Arabic, English, Kashmiri, Persian and Urdu
  • Dr GP Sharma argues that ’Syed Abdul Malik’s contribution to Assamese literature matches that of Lakshminath Bezbarua
  • Aswathy Karnaver reviews two debut collections of poetry (in English) from India, by A M Sivakrishna and Rahul Sharma

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • Odia poet Soubhagya Kumar Mishra wins the Gangadhar National Award for poetry.
  • After all the durm und strang, the Kannada Sahitya Sammelan had a tepid turnout.
  • Hirendra Nath Dutta has been chosen for the 25th Assam Valley Literary Award for the year 2014
  • Maithili scholar Ravindra Nath Thakur wins the PrabodhSahityaSamman
  • Dr. T.G. Prabhashankar “Premi” gets an honorary doctorate from the Vikramshila Hindi Vidyapeet in Bhagalpur, Bihar
  • Padma awardee Laltluangliana Khiangte on the need for a ‘literary awakening’

People

  • Telugu playwright and dialogue writer Ganesh Patro passed away. He was 69 and was being treated for cancer.
  • Translator Arunava Sinha on why he translates and another column on the dearth of translations from India
  • Hindi poet Nand Chaturvedi passed away. He was 91.
  • Urdu writer Shamsur Rahman Faruqi on writing, the literature he loves, and Sufism: a nice interview
  • Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Misra, at a writers’ conference made the terrifying claim that “should be universally acceptable”
  • Pakistani writer Intizar Husain makes a broad claim for writers: “as extremists do not read literature or our stories, we are safe”
  • Ashok Srinivasan talks about his Book of Common Signs, and finally getting published.
  • Contemporary Malayalam poet Atoor Ravi Varma on his poetry, music and translation.
  • Slightly blunt obituary for Academician and thinker Hardiljit Singh Sidhu (Lali Baba)
  • Konkani poet JB Moraes passes away at 82

Publishing

  • Literary journal Asian Cha has a poetry contest, ‘The Other Side’ (deadline: Feb 15)
  • David Davidar of Aleph Book Co on the challenges that Indian publishers face in the future.
  • Perumal Murugan’s book, One Part Woman has been facing boycotts and censorship attempts by the Hindu right – here’s an article from PEN, an excerpt in Scroll, a report in Indian Express.
  • Indian publishers on the trends in 2014
  • Tagore’s short story, ‘Postmaster’ to be made into a film

Events

  • A report on a two-day symposium on medieval bhakti literature in Odia held in Jan.
  • Shrabonti Bagchi has a survivor’s guide to Indian litfests. Leave before Bollywood arrives
  • An update on the Guwahati Lit Fest
  • 200 years of Ghalib, and his hometown, Agra, forgot him.
  • At the Amta Book Fair 2014, Bengali books did well
  • Celebrations for the 87th birth anniversary of Nepali poet Agam Singh Giri

The 2014 Sahitya Akademi Awards – Part 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 Week in Literature and Translation [30 October to 6 November, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Tarquin Hall’s The Case of the Man Who Died Laughing, the second book about Indian detective Vish Puri, is out in paperback. [Amazon]
  • Two books by Mahasweta Devi will be out in new editions (paperback) in November – Breast Stories [Amazon] and Old Women [Amazon]
  • Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves was released [Penguin] [Flipkart – pre order]
  • Shamsur Rahman Faruqi’s The Sun that Rose from the Earth was released [Flipkart – preorder]
  • Aatish Taseer’s The Way Things Were is up for pre-order (releasing December 2014) [Flipkart]
  • Janice Pariat’s Seahorse is up for pre-order (releasing end November, 2014) [Flipkart]
  • Sandeep Balakrishna’s translation of SL Bhyrappa’s Kannada novel, Aavarana, is now available as an e-book [Flipkart]
  • Teresa’s Man and Other Stories from Goa, a selection of short stories by, Damodar Mauzo, have been compiled and translated by Xavier Cota. [Rupa]
  • Amit Chaudhuri’s edited volume of poems by AK Mehrotra, is out and includes Mehrotra’s translations of poems from the Hindi, Gujarati, Prakrit and Bengali [Penguin]
  • Some of Pablo Neruda’s poetry for children has been translated into Hindi, Bengali and Marathi, for schoolchildren in India. [Latin American Herald Tribune]
  • Amandeep Sandhu’s novel, Roll of Honour [Author’s site] has been translated into Punjabi, and the translation was released at the Chandigarh Lit Fest. [HT]
  • Konkani writer Dr. Madhukar Joshi’s novel, Kodai Kosu, has been translated to English by Neeraja Vaidhya, as Inside Mortar and Pestle [ToI]
  • Arunava Sinha, endlessly prolific, has a new translation of Bengali poet Amiya Chakravarti’s poem, The Exchange [his website]
  • A new issue of Muse India is out, this one in honour of Kannada writer UR Ananthamurthy, who recently died. [Muse India]
  • Jane D’Suza’s book for children, Super Zero is out [The Hindu]
  • Transgender rights activist Revathi has publisher her autobiography [The Hindu]
  • Poile Sengupta has released her first novel, Inga, after several childrens’ books. [The Hindu]
  • Vikrant Dadawala’s blog contains some translations of Hindi poetry. See, for instance, his translation of ‘Salt’ by Kedarnath Singh. [Link]
  • Karnataka has two new Kannada magazines – one devoted to issues faced by the LGBT community (The Hindu) and another focusing on music (The Hindu)
  • Cartoonist Paul Fernandes has a new book on Bangalore’s days past, titled, Swinging in the Sixties [The Hindu]

COLUMNS, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Columns and Articles

  • Karthik Subramaniam in The Hindu says Tamil blogging is thriving, as English blogging declines [The Hindu]
  • Dilip Menon has a lovely essay in Caravan on Malayalam writer KR Meera [Caravan]

Reviews

  • Monojit Majumdar, a former member of the O.S.L.A. (One Sided Lovers’ Assocation) reviews Chetan Bhagat’s Half Girlfriend and finds it ”
    mediocre, simplistic and clichéd.” [Indian Express] Manavi Kapur in her review described it as ‘average’ [Business Standard]
  • Mirza Waheed’s new book, The Book of Gold Leaves, has been reviewed this last week – The Guardian,
  • Reviews of Zafar Anjum’s biography of Urdu poet, Iqbal – Rakshanda Jalil in  Indian Express, Naresh ‘Nadeem’ in Tehelka
  • Chitra Viraraghavan’s debut novel The Americans [Hindustan Times]
  • Trisha Gupta in Caravan reviews two new thespian lives: Naseeruddin Shah’s autobiography, and a biography of Dilip Kumar [Caravan]

NEWS: AWARDS, EVENTS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHERS

Events

  • Book Fair | Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala | November 1-15, 2014 | TNIE
  • Literati, Chandigarh Literary Fest | Chandigarh | November 7-9 | DJ
  • 16th North East India Book Fair | Guwahati | November 1-12, 2014 | ToI
  • Telugu poet Madugula Nagaphani Sarma brings the Avadhanam, in Sanskrit, Hindi and Telugu . The Avadhanam is a live poetry performance- poetry in response to audience questions. | Delhi | November 2-9, 2014 | PTI
  • IHC Samanvay Lit Fest (recommended) | Delhi | November 6-9, 2014 | website
  • Pustaka Parishe (a Kannada book fair) | Bengaluru | December 7-9 2014 | The Hindu

People

  • Kashmiri poet and writer, Amin Kamil, died at the age of 90. He wrote in both, Kashmiri and Urdu, and won, amongst others, the Sahitya Akademi award and the Padma Shri, for his poetry, ghazals, plays and stories. [DNA,] [Rising Kashmir] [Kashmir Life] [Kashmir Reader]
  • Poet and translator, Aziz Indori, who worked in Urdu and Hindi, died at the age of 82 [Times of India]
  • Vijay Seshadri, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, says the heart of poetry is metaphor, which cannot be taught [Indian Express]
  • Mani Rao in an interview with Zafar Anjum, on writing poetry, living in Hong Kong and her upcoming book on Kalidasa [Kitaab]
  • Amit Chaudhuri, in an interview with Vaishna Roy, says he is “drawn to the quirky” [The Hindu] In Elle Magazine, he says “there is a much greater aesthetic space for literature here now than there was 15 years ago otherwise.” [Elle]
  • Shamsur Rahman Faruqi on his new book, The Sun That Rose from the Earth, in an interview with Amrita Datta [Indian Express]
  • Khaled Ahmed profiles Pakistani novelist Intizar Husain. Husain recently won the Officier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. [Indian Express]
  • Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik at the OdishaLitFest 2014 spoke about the importance of regional literature [IBNlive]

Publishing

  • The Kannada Book Authority directed Kannada book publishers to register all books with it, for the purposes of preparing a complete catalogue. [Business Standard]
  • Amazon India has launched a Kannada books and music online store. [IBNlive]
  • Nivedita Ganguly has another one of those Ebooks-are-changing-everything columns. [The Hindu]
  • More on former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s project to promote Tamil literature. [ToI]
  • Kannada publisher Navkarnataka is offering a special discount as part of the Kannada Rajyotsava celebrations [The Hindu]

News

  • The Mopungchuket Ait Laisher Telongjem Library in Nagaland celebrates 75 years. [Morung Express]
  • The Central Institute on Indian Languages may move from Mysore to Bengaluru. [The Hindu]
  • 600 poets are participating in the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi’s Kaavya Saptaha, across 30 districts in Karnataka [The Hindu]

The Week in Literature and Translation [18-25th September 2014]

New Books, Publications and Translations

Ghaus Siwani has published a set of Urdu translations of Persian poetry, Do Atisha (‘The Cocktail’). He leaves out Ghalib and Iqbal, but brings in a number of lesser-known poets, including Hafiz Shirazi, Urfi Shirazi, Sa’eb Tabrezi and Abdul Qadir Bedil.

The Kannada literature journal, Aniketana, is back. It used to be published by the Kannada Sahitya Akademi till about six years back, when it was discontinued. A new issue, with the theme, ‘Rural Consciousness in Kannada literature’ is out. The editors have also promised to bring out compilations to cover the six years when the journal was not in publication.

The Hindustani Academy, based in Allahabad, has begun to re-publish rare pre-Independence books in Hindi and Urdu. They’ve begun with a tract on Raja Bhog, by ‘Sameer’ (Ramagya Dwivedi), and will follow it up with ‘Awadh Kosh’ (1934) and ‘Prayag Pradeep’ (1937). The latter, by Shaligram Srivastava is a history of Awadh, and the former, a socio-geographical study of the region.

Mid-Day has published a fascinating account of ‘Dor Mhoineachi Rotti’ (Our Daily Bread), a Konkani journal for Jesuits that has been published since it was founded in 1915.

Sathya Saran has a new biography out (in Hindi) on the life of composer SD Burman, titled ‘Sun Mere Bandhu Re’ (Listen, my brother).

Poet and lyricist Gulzar has published a biography of Urdu poet Ghalib.

Amitav Ghosh has published, on his blog, his introduction to Vedica Kant’s book on India and WWI – ‘If I Die Here, Who Will Remember Me?’

Bengali translator Arunava Sinha often posts short English translations of Bengali fiction and poetry on his blog. If you’re not on the mailing list ,sign up at once!

Columns, Reviews and Criticism

Zac O’Yeah writes in Livemint on the rise in true crime accounts in India.

Jabeen Akhtar writes in the LARB on South Asian literature, and pandering to Western audiences. It met this comment:

Mahmood Awan on reading English translations of work by Punjabi poet Amarjit Chandan.

Dr Malini Goswami of Gauhati University spoke at an event on the continuing relevance of Ramayani literature, in Assam.

Poet and blogger Sridala Swami has a new column at The Daily O, titled ‘The Sideways Door’, which will focus on poetry. Let’s hope it means more Indian, and translated poetry, too.

Rohit Chopra at Scroll says more Indians are writing in English, and in a narrower range of sentiment and voice.

In Outlook, Smita Tewari Jassal reviews Navtej Sarna’s travelogue, ‘Indians at Herod’s Gate’ (in English).

Vikhar Ahmad Sayeed has a lovely obituary for UR Ananthamurthy, the Kannada writer who passed away recently, in Frontline.

Kuldeep Kumar reviews Rakshanda Jalil’s biography of Urdu writer Rashid Jahan.

Sunanda K Datta-Ray reviews David Omissi’s collection of WWI letters from Indian soldiers, many of which were translated from Urdu.

News: Awards, Events, Publishing, People

The Akkiraju Ramaiah Pantulua Award, for literature in Telugu, has been given to Chadlavada Lakshmi Narasimha Rao. The event also saw the release of a book of Telugu poetry by Dr.Akkiraju Sundara Ramakrishna.

The biggest prize for Punjabi literature, the Dhahan Award, has gone to Canada-based writer, Avtar Singh Billing for his  novel Khali Khoohaan di Katha (The Tale of Empty Wells).

Malayalam novelist C V Balakrishnan will receive the Padmaprabha literary award for his contributions to literature.

Hindi novelist Govind Mishra will receive the ‘Saraswati Samman’ award for his novel, ‘Dhool Paudhon Par’ (Dust on the Branches).

The World Sanskrit Conference will be hosted in Uttarakhand tomorrow (26th September 2014). 400 Indian Sanskrit scholars will be attending.

Arunima Mazumdar reports in Livemint on a new series of lectures in Delhi on Urdu writing, hosted by Rakshanda Jalil.

The University of Western Sydney has announced a program that will bring together First Nations (?)/Aboriginal writing from Australia and bhasha/Dalit literature from India.

In Bangalore, on September 28, there will be a performance of music and reading in honour of poet Amir Khusrau.

Nayyar Jahan Siddiqui, who wrote a seminal study of Urdu poetry Ahmad Faraz, will receive a posthumous honorary doctorate from Nagpur University.

SAARC plans to set up a massive digital library for literature from SAARC countries.

In Hyderabad, a troupe has been performing protest poetry in Hindi, by poet Sudama Panday Dhoomil.

Outlook’s gossip blog, Bibliofile, reports that Ravi Singh of Aleph Book Company will team up with FEEL Books to bring out a new imprint that may be called Flying Tiger (or Speaking Tiger). There aren’t any details on what this imprint will publish.

Marathi poet Shankar Vaidya passed away following an illness.

Playwright Girish Karnad is in court, following allegations of plagiarism by author Gopala Vajpayee. Apparently Karnad used a song written by Vajpayee in one of his plays, and failed to attribute or credit it.

The third edition of the Bangalore Lit Fest will begin next week. The sessions on Kannada literature look rather interesting.