Tag Archives: Odia

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 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 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 [Dec 19-25, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

  • The Dalgado Konknni Akademi (DKA) will release three new Konkani books in the Romi script: C ‘Na-em’, a collection of poems by Guadalupe Dias, ‘Kapaz Jaki’, a novel by Willy Goes and another book of poems ‘Motiam’ by Anil Kamat Shankwalkar.
  • Four more Konkani books were released during the Konkani Saahith Kuswar Sammel” :two novels and a collection of short stories translated by Dr Fr William DaSilva, and a collection of poetry
  • Aldous Mawlong, poet from Meghalaya, released his second collection of poems, ‘Collage’
  • Penguin has a new collection of poetry by Kamala Das.
  • Navayana has announced two forthcoming books for 2015, by Aboriginal authors Alexis Wright and Ali Cobby Eckermann’
  • An excerpt from a new graphic novel that “reimagines the story of Anarkali as an anthem for freedom”
  • Aruni Kashyap tweeted that he was working on a new seralised novel in Assamese..
  • A new translation of stories by Devibharati, titled ‘Farewell, Mahatma’ has been released. The translator is N Kalyan Raman.

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

  • Vikram Doctor on 120 years of Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
  • Garga Chatterjee has a list of the top political books in India, for 2014
  • Swati Daftuar has a list of the top-selling Hindi books this year
  • Malati Mathur on translating Indian fiction
  • On sustaining aksharaslokam, an art of reciting verses from Malayalam literature
  • Arunava Sinha’s personal history of Calcutta, “my once and always city of books”
  • Shovon Chowdhury’s tongue-in-cheek column takes a dig at formulaic Indian romance novels.
  • Chandan Gowda on MN Srinivas and the lure of the literary
  • ZM Nofil reviews the year in Indian literature.

Reviews.

  • Two reviews of R Sreeram, debut novel, the political thriller ‘Kalyug’ – Archana Ravi in TNIE and Sravasti Datta in The Hindu.
  • Lisa Hill from the ANZ Lit blog has reviews of Shamsur Rahman Faruqi‘s The Mirror of Beauty and Jhumpa Lahiri‘s The Lowland.
  • Deccan Chronicle has a review of Janice Pariat’s Seahorse
 NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

  • The Sahitya Akademi Awards for 2014 were announced. I’ll be posting in more detail about those, by and by.
  • Tamil writer Jayamohan has been selected for this year’s Iyal Award
  • Iqbal Sayeedi, Konkani poet from Bhatkal has won the Kavita Trust’s Mathias Family Poetry Award for the year 2014
  • Madhukar Dattatrya Hatkanangalekar has been selected for the Sangli Bhushan award

People

  • Tulu writer and editor SR Hegde died, tragically, in a drowning incident.
  • Madhavi Sardesai, who just won the 2014 Sahitya Akademi Award, passed away.
  • On Gobinda Halder — a celebrity poet in Bangladesh and a non-entity in his native West Bengal

Publishing

  • Penguin has a competition going: design a new cover for their new fantasy novel, ‘Warrior’
  • Odia books saw great sales at the Cuttack book fair.
  • Academic publisher Permanent Black will soon turn 15
  • The (Great) Indian Poetry Collective has raised $10,000 in seed funding to publish books of poetry by contemporary writers with a connection to India

Events

  • Agra will host the SAARC lit fest in 2015.
  • Poet Siddalingaiah will chair the 81st Akhila Bharatha Kannada Sahitya Sammelana in 2015/
  • Mangaluru to host Konkani lit fest on December 20, 2014
  • Patna had a three day Maithili literature festival last week.
  • Aligarh Muslim University had a seminar on Tamil poet, Subramania Bharti
  • The Mumbai Lit Fest was as precious and irrelevant as one expected. Aakar Patel ruefully reports for Mint.

The Week in Literature and Translation [Dec 12-18, 2014]

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

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

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

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

Reviews

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

NEWS: AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

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

People

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

Publishing

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

Events

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

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

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

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

COLUMNS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

Columns and Articles

Reviews

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

NEWS, AWARDS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHING, EVENTS

Awards

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

People

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

Publishing and Sales

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

Events

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

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

NEW BOOKS, TRANSLATIONS AND WRITING

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

COLUMNS, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Columns and Articles

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

Reviews

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

NEWS: AWARDS, EVENTS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHERS

Awards

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

News

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

Events

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

 

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

NEW BOOKS, PUBLICATIONS, AND TRANSLATIONS

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

COLUMNS, REVIEWS AND ARTICLES

Columns and Articles

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

Reviews

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

NEWS: AWARDS, EVENTS, PEOPLE, PUBLISHERS

News

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

Obituaries

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

Events

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

General

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

The Week In Literature and Translation [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.