Tag Archives: Sridala Swami

The Week in Translation and Literature [November 14-20 2014]


  • An excerpt from Devdutt Pattanaik’s 7 Secrets of The Goddess, in Livemint.
  • The latest issue of When Women Waken has a short story, ‘The Light’ by Sheila Kumar
  • Mohonto Pangking’s book of short stories, Kéérook and Other Stories from North East India was released.
  • 55 works by the Kannada writer, Niranjana have been released on Wikisource under a free license.
  • An excerpt from The Lovers and the Leavers by Bangladeshi-American writer Abeer Hoque
  • The Kannada Book Authority launched books by 30 young Kannada writers.
  • An excerpt from Janice Pariat’s new novel, Seahorse.
  • Margaret Paul Joseph’s book, Jasmine on a String: A Survey of Women Writing English Fiction in India is about women writing in English, in India, in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Kalyan Raman has a new translation of a poem by ND Rajkumar.
  • We Also Made History, a translation of a group of Marathi narratives by Dalit women, has been translated to English.
  • Darius Cooper has a new set of short stories out, The Fuss About Queens and Other Stories.


Columns and Articles

  • The Assam Tribune reports on a speech by Assamese actor, Pranjal Saikia on Assamese writer, Lakshminath Bezbaroa
  • Preksha Malu on the rise of queer literature in India.
  • Usha Manakonda on building inclusion in children’s literature in India.
  • Mridula Chari, also on inclusion in children’s literature in India, writing for Scroll.
  • A detailed report on Kathakram, a Hindi literary fest held Lucknow.
  • Akhtar Balouch on two colonial era poets from the subcontinent – Hasrat Mohani and Robert Grant.
  • Dharminder Kumar writes in The Hindu on bilingual magazine Pratilipi, and how it disrupts the canon.
  • Sampurna Chatterji on the pleasures of translating Joy Goswami’s (Bengali) poetry (to English)
  • P Anima on the difficulties and joys of translating from Malayalam to English, generally.
  • A report on a seminar in Amritsar where scholars discussed historical records and texts about Maharaja Amrit Singh
  • Rajeev Mani in the Times of India talks about former PM Nehru’s friendship with poet Firaq Gorakhpuri
  • Pranay Gupte on the history and rise of Mumbai’s Literary Festival
  • In Naya Samay, a profile of Acharya Vishwanath Pathak (In Hindi)
  • Svetlana Lasrado on Payal Kapadia’s new novel for children, Horrid High.
  • Tejas Harad in EPW on reading the printed word: he says its more to do with attitudes than the medium.
  • Sabin Iqbal has a profile of Anees Sethi, whose book Vanity Bagh won the Hindu Prize last year.
  • There’s some lovely writing in Seminar’s October Gandhi issue – Isabel Hofmayr on Gandhi and print culture in South Africa, Pramod Kapoor of Roli Books on reading Gandhi, and Vinay Lal and ES Reddy on archiving Gandhi’s works.


  • The theme of The Book Review (India) for November is ‘Children’s Books‘ and there are some fantastic reviews (and many fantastic books).
  • Shubhrasta Shikha reviews Ira Singh’s new novel, ‘The Surveyor’
  • Shouomojit Banerjee reviews Jeremy Seabrook’s The Shirt from Navayana.
  • Wendy Doniger reviews Richard H Davis’ new biography of the Bhagvad Gita
  • Sarah Lobban reviews Samit Basu’s Resistance
  • Nuvena Rajachandra on Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean – a collection of feminist literature.
  • Minnu Ittyipe reviews EP Unny’s Santa and the Scribes, The Making of Fort Kochi.
  • Manjul Bajaj reviews Amit Chaudhuri’s new novel, Odysseus Abroad.



  • Hindi author Nasera Sharma wins the Anand Sagar Smriti Kathakram Samman’
  • ‘The ‘Vishwa Bhojpuri Samman’ was awarded to the Bhojpuri Study Centre of Banaras Hindu University (BHU)
  • Hari Krishna Devsare Children’s Literature Trust has instituted the First Children’s Literature Award.



  • Sibi Arasu on how Indian developers are preparing fonts for the future of digital publishing.
  • Bharati Vidya Bhavan’s Art and Cultural wing, Kala Kendra, has started accepting applications for Adi Marzban — a Gujarati open one-act drama competition.


  • 15-23 November | 30th Annual Jamshedpur Book fair | Jamshedpur | The Tribune
  • 16-23 November | 4th National Book Fair | Varanasi | ToI
  • 21 November | Yoda Press turns 10 years old – day long events | Delhi | Facebook
  • 23-24 November | Kritya Poetry Festival | Thiruvananthapuram | TNIE
  • 26th November | Launch of Mirza Waheed’s The Book of Golden Leaves | Delhi | Twitter
  • 28-40 November | Urdu Literary Festival | Lucknow | TOI

The Week in Literature and Translation [October 9th to 16th, 2014]

New Books, Publications and Translations

Mustansir Dalvi has posted new translations of three poems by Marathi poet Narayan Gangadhar Surve.

Pustak Publications has a new website selling e-books in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. Authors already up there include Indira Soundarrajan, Pattukottai Prabhakar, Yandamoori Veerendranath, Neela Padmanabhan, and others.

Satti Khanna’s translation of Vinod Kumar Shukla’s Once it Flowers has been published by Harper Perennials.

A new issue of the North East Review is out.

A trilingual lexicon on 12th century vachana literature in Kannada has been published by the Basavatatva Prachara and Samshodhana Kendra.

A collection of prefaces and introductions written by U.Ve. Swaminatha Iyer is to be published.

Gujarat University’s Nirmal Granth Board will be publishing fourtranslations of Kalidasa’s Sanskrit epic, Meghduta (The Cloud Messenger) [English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati] Also, a reminder that Mani Rao’s new translation of Kalidasa’s works, to English, from Aleph will be out this year. She talks about it here.

Bina Biswas has published a new translation of poems by Nasir Ahmad Naseer, titled A Man Outside History.

The Tamil Virtual Academy plans an online wiki for Tamil culture and arts. It’s going to be more wiki than Wikipedia.

Akshay Manwani launched his book on lyricist and poet Sahir Ludhianvi (HarperCollins)

Calls for Submissions / Papers

CFP: Via Kitaab, South Asian Popular Culture, a journal published by T&F is asking for submissions on ‘Graphic novels and visual cultures in India’. Deadline: 14.11.2014

Columns, Reviews, Articles

Ace translator Arunava Sinha was interviewed – he talks about translation, about judging the Hindu Prize and food.

S Ravi reviews Anurag Anand’s The Legend of Amrapali (English) in the Hindu.

Anita Nair reviews J Devika’s translation of KR Meera’s The Hangwoman, in Outlook.

An anonymous column on the endurance of the Sindhi short story.

Malayalam novelist Sethu argues that the lack of experience of war or other major events results in Indian writers focusing on personal tragedies alone. This, Sethu argues forces them to “harp on personal sorrows”. Seems a specious claim to me.

In the wake of India’s mission to Mars, Deepanjana Pal has this fun post on Bengali science fiction.

Mani Rao on her translation of Kalidasa (from the Sanskrit) and the art of translation, generally.

Prakash Belawadi suggests that Kannada writers are officially privileged over all others in Karnataka, and Chandan Gowda responds, saying that’s an absurd claim (they’re ‘societally privileged’). They also debate the Bhyrappa-URA-Karnad spat.

News: Awards, Events, People, Publishers

Cyclone Hudhud has been wrecking parts of the country. One of the worst hit states is Andhra Pradesh, has suffered great losses to lives, livelihoods and property, and now also its historical archives. You can contribute to relief for the victims by going here.

Cyrus Mistry talks about winning the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and his novels, in The Hindu.

A report by Leonard Fernandes on the fantastic Publishing Next conference that was held in Goa last month.

Yet another litfest – this one in Mumbai, and reportedly, with a focus on Indian authors. I’m not sure about whether this means authors writing in English alone; hopefully not. Mumbai’s other major lit fest, Tata Lit Live, will take place from October 30 to November 2nd. More interesting than either of these is Queer Ink’s new Safe Spaces festival (Q Fest).

Comic-Con Hyderabad begins on October 10.

Five poets have been shortlisted for the Khushwant Singh Memorial Prize this year: Sridala Swami (Escape Artist), Ranjit Hoskote (Central Time); Arundhathi Subramaniam (When God is a Traveller); Keki N Daruwalla (Fire Altar) and Joy Goswami (Selected Poems, translated by Sampurna Chatterji).

Sandeep Balakrishna writes about the Girish Karnad-URA spat.

The Jibananda Puroshkar 2014, in honour of Jibananda Das and awarded for Bengali writing, was given to Imtiar Shamim for prose and Khaled Hossain for poetry, this year.

Karnataka plans a massive convention in April or May next year – representatives from all literary academies/ peethas will be there, including the Karnataka Tulu, Konkani, Kodava and Beary Academies.

The Urdu drama festival will start on Monday next week, and will feature two Urdu writers specifically:  Khwaja Ahmad Abbas and Begum Qudsia Zaidi.

The 7th International Urdu Conference begins in Pakistan today, and atleast four Indian poets are participating.

There has been much angst and reflection on the fact that Indian-born Neel Mukherjee didn’t win the Booker this year.

K T M Iqba, an Indian-origin Singaporean who writes in Tamil, has won Singapore’s Cultural Medallion this year.

Free Speech and Censorship

The anti-caste Forward Press has been raided by the Delhi police for allegedly hurting the religious sentiments (this is a penal offence) of Hindus by retelling a mythological story. You can read the issue here. Dalit publisher Navayana has also issued a statement.

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.