Tag Archives: Nepali

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 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 9-15, 2015]

 

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • Classical singer Soma Ghosh will sing Meena Kumari’s poetry
  • A new quarterly Nepali lit mag will begin publishing, this April
  • I’m looking forward to Pascal Zynck’s translation of Bangladeshi writer Selina Hussain’s Hangor, Nodi, Grenade. This was one of Satyajit Ray’s favourite stories.
  • I came across a fun historical serialised account of the history of Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands, by historian Francis Xavier Neelam, in the Andaman Sheekha.
  • Arunava Sinha posted a translation of Tunnu’s Computer – a poem by Debarati Mitra
  • Listen to Zia Mohyeddin, Pakistan’s grand man of stage and screen, recite Faiz and Manto
  • A new commentary on Ghalib’s rejected verses:emotion & its expression
  • Prajwal Parajuly’s The Gurkha’s Daughter, published in 2013 will get a Nepali translation this week, published by Nepalaya.

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Via P Sainath’s fantastic rural reporting venture, the PARI network, here’s an account of P.V. Chinnathambi library: “in the middle of the forested wilderness of Kerala’s Idukki district, the library’s 160-books — all classics — are regularly borrowed, read, and returned by poor, Muthavan adivasis.”
  • Charles Chasie’s article documents the history of Nagaland through its rich literary traditions
  • Marcy Newman, American literature teacher, is surprised at the lack of Indian lit in school syllabi
  • Reports from a seminar that touched on ‘protest poetry’ in Kashmir
  • India Spend explains why Indians are losing out on Libraries (by Subadra Ramakrishnan)
  • A year after fierce Marathi poet Namdeo Dhasal died, the storms continue to rage

Reviews

  • Khalid Fayaz Mir’s review of Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Gold Leaves praises its quality of huzn or melancholy.

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • The Sahitya Akademi has finally announced the 2014 Sanskrit award: Prabhu Nath Dwivedi for “Kanakalochanaha”. Here’s a quick overview of the awards and profiles of the winners, for 2014: Parts I and II.
  • This year’s TOTO awards for creative writing were announced: for English, Kaushik Viswanath from Chennai and Mohit Parikh from Jaipur, and for Kannada, Moulya M. from Mysore.
  • Telugu novelist Dr. Adharapurapu Tejovathy was selected for the Spoorthi Award.
  • Here’s the list of winners for the Konkani Sahitya Akademi awards.
  • In Kashmir, a new annual award “Sharf-e-Nadim” has been instituted for the best Na’atkhawan poet of the state in honour of Abdul AhadNadim
  • Submissions For 2015 Dhahan Prize For Punjabi Literature are now open
  • The Tulu Sahitya Akademi awards were announced, and amongst the winners is centenarian and folklorist Gerthila Devu Poojary
  • Hindi writer Kamal Kishore Goyanka was selected for the Vyas Samman award.
  • Iqbal Sayeedi won the Mathias Family Kavita Puraskar 2014.

People

  • Tamil writer Perumal Murugan says he won’t write anymore, withdraws his books after protests from right-wing groups and casteist bodies. Outrageous. #NaanPerumalMurugan
  • Ramesh Chandra Shah, this year’s Sahitya Akademi winner for Hindi, on his inspirations
  • Gopal Das “Neeraj”, poet and songwriter, turns 90
  • Yese Dorji Thongshi, Assamese poet, says “literature is only way to strengthen brotherhood among the people”
  • An obituary for feminist, critic, writer and professor JasodharaBagchi
  • This article calls Suryadevara Rammohan Rao “Telugu’s Paulo Coelho”
  • Urdu poet Pirzada Ashique Keranvi died at the age of 80.

Publishing

  • Will Amazon Prime come to India later this year?
  • What is the reason behind low ebook sales in India? Is it the lack of price differentials with print books?Publishers explain.
  • The Kannada Book Authority plans to revive the ‘reading culture’ by constituting book clubs in schools
  • The Centre constituted a High Level Committee to survey and collect data related to the present status of Urdu
  • Notes on the designing of the Murty Classical Library (rose and gold)
  • Karnataka Konkani Sahitya Academy donated 280 Konkani books worth Rs 26,500 to Mangalore University
  • Is digital publishing destroying the Hindi pulp novel?
  • The District Administration in Belagavi, Maharashtra, wants to ban this play.
  • A new Telugu e-book store, already has 300 e-books for free
  • Tired of waiting for govt funds, this Marathi literature academy  will raise money independently.
  • In Shahdara, Gautam Book Centre, a bookshop devoted to Dalit literature, soldiers on
  • Surendra Mohan Pathak’s Hindi novel Colaba Conspiracy was India’s most popular book last year.
  • Ahmedabad’s MJ library plans to publish ten popular Gujarati novels as ebooks.
  • Snigdha Poonam lists five Hindi books to look out for, this year

Events

  • The 2nd edition of a two-day children’s literary carnival begins Friday at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum
  • The Hyderabad Literary Festival (HLF)  2015 will be held from January 23 to 26,
  • The third World Telugu Writers’ Convention will be held in Vijaywada on February 21- 22
  • The eighth All-India Urdu Book Fair in Kolkata, Jan 9
  • At Stella Maris, a seminar on Telugu women writers evaluates their contributions
  • A report from the 3rd edition of Kavita Fest, in Barkur, Karnataka
  • Remember when Kashmir’s litfest, Harud, was cancelled? It’s back.

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.