Tag Archives: Rakshanda Jalil

2014 : Indian writing in English Translation

I tweeted a tentative list earlier today, and I’m just putting it all in one place here. Let me know what I’ve missed. This is not an exhaustive list, just the ones that I found noteworthy.

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


  • 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 and Articles


  • 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



  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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 [30 October to 6 November, 2014]


  • 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 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]


  • 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]



  • 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


  • 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]


  • 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]


  • 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.