Monday, October 30, 2006

There’s more than one art to creative PRA
Helen Gould


Think of participatory development, for one moment, as an orchestra. It would be inconceivable to use just one instrument. With PRA (Participatory Rural Appraisal), as with orchestras, you need a balance of skills, a range of instruments and players, performing in concert. This analogy fits in well with the historical development of PRA as a family of tools which complement each other.

More recently, creative activities are being included in the tool kit of PRA. This is an exciting development but one worrying aspect is the increasing dominance of theatre within this group of creative tools. Creativity is a core language of human expression in participatory development, but just as the orchestra, there is a variety of instruments which help a community verbalise their needs and solutions creatively. It would be a dull world indeed if acting was our only form of self-expression. What, then, of our poets, painters and craft-makers, our musicians and dancers?

Learning through creativity

One example of a project which has these values close at heart is Katha, a literacy development project. This works with some 10,000 families in one of the largest slums in New Delhi, India.
Katha was set up by author Geeta Dharmarajan in 1988, initially as a health and environmental education project. It is now an integrated development project, which specialises in teaching LIFE skills (literacy and lifelong learning, income generation skills, family well-being and empowerment). It uses an enormous range of activities to spread the joys of books and reading, to empower women and children, break down gender and social barriers, and to encourage learning through creativity.

The Indian literacy tradition spans a continuum from the spoken word - storytelling and performance - to written texts. Thus, as part of this legacy, Katha uses all the creative tools at its disposal - theatre, storytelling, writing and film, cartoons and magazine publishing - to ‘make an impact, motivate and excite many, many people in a myriad of ways’.

To read the whole article, go here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Broadcast ...
Katha's Executive Director, Geeta Dharmarajan, will be speaking about her experiences and thoughts on the Frankfurt Book Fair, on the All India Radio.
You can tune in to it on 12.5 Khz MW at 8.05 PM, on October 25 2006, on the programme, Vividha.
In addition, one of our award winning illustrators, and whose work was part of the Frankfurt Selection of Katha Books, Sonali Biswas, will speak on the importance of illustrations in story books.

The Katha team's looking forward to your comments and feedback.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Katha invites ...

Warm Greetings from Katha!

We most cordially invite you to the launch of the releases of the English translations of the SAARC Literary award winning Hindi novel "Alma Kabutari" by Maitreyi Pushpa & "Second Person Singular," collection of poems in Maithili, by Udaya Narayana Singh, writer and director CIIL, Mysore by renowned Hindi scholar Prof Namwar Singh.

Alma Kabutari

Translated from the Hindi by Raji Narasimhan [the cover carries a reproduction of a famous painting by Paresh Maity] the saga of Alma Kabutari does not begin with Alma herself. It has its roots in centuries of social and sexual subjugation of the kabutaris by the upper-caste kajjas. Like Chittor's Rani Padmini of yore, from whom the kabutaris have descended, the onus of breaking the vicious circle and reclaiming human status for her people falls on young Alma. Maitreyi Pushpa has written consistently about rural politics and has endeavored to explore the web of human relationships in a time of moral ambivalence and social uncertainty.

Second Person Singular

Translated from Maithili by the poet with Rizio Yohanan Raj [the book & the cover carry brilliant b&w illustrations by the renowned artist Sanjay Bhattacharya], Second Person Singular is the poetic expression of the epiphanic other-view of love and life that language presents to each individual. Udaya Narayana Singh's original Maithili poems in this translation present the strange counterpoints that one gets from an involvement with language. They bring out the dialectical texture of the silent spaces in human relationships.

The launch will take place at ...

The Attic,
36 Regal Building,
Connaught Place, New Delhi
Wednesday November 1, 2006
at 6.30 pm.

A special discount of 10 per cent on the books can be availed of, by those who order the book via email or buy it, on the day of the launch .

Looking forward to meeting you at the event.

With warm regards,

Lakshmi Ramakrishna
Media Relations Officer, Katha
2652.1752 ext 25

Sunday, October 15, 2006

"What happens when a scarecrow decides to leave his field for one day?"

The New Indian Express
(School Magazine, August 30, 2006)

An imaginative book, it describes the story of a scarecrow who wanted to leave his field one day to look at the world outside. The scarecrow starts by cribbing about having to stay in the field all day and being bored doing so.

The scarecrow on his way meets a cow, a fish that refuse to accompany which doesn't stop him from having fun outside the field. He further sets out to enjoy the beauty of the world beyond his cornfield that he guards everyday. The illustrations capture the scarecrow's new found freedom where he runs along the green grasses, chasing butterflies and watching birds and following the blue skies.

During the dusk, the scarecrow misses being at his cornfield and guarding it, he returns only to be disappointed to find the corns were eaten and the plants pulled out from the roots. The scarecrow who was rejoicing was now sad that he left his field to be damaged. True, that time heals, the field is back to bearing healthy corn and also standing happy there is a very happy scarecrow. From then the scarecrow sings a lullaby for the baby corns in the mornings, when it rains, when the sky is decorated with the beautiful rainbow, when it is the autumn season and when the night sky is filled with shining stars.

The book however comes with the hidden moral that there should be a balance between responsibility and freedom. The author's debut attempt in writing a book has won him the Chitra Katha Award in the year 2002. An imaginative and thought provoking book with interesting illustrations.

- Nanditha Suresh

Writer and illustrator

Suddhasattwa Basu

: Katha
Also available in Hindi
Age Group: 5-8 years
32 pages size 10 x 8
ISBN 81-87649-56-9 [HB]
ISBN 81-89020-08-0 [PB]
Price: Rs 120 [HB]
Rs 95 [PB]

Friday, October 13, 2006

Singarevva and the Palace

"From strange obsessions to impulsive desires, this is an unusual gothic novel, faithful to the events in Singarevva’s life. The story of a woman, as fascinating and mysterious as the palace she lives in."

Katha's first novel

The Statesman
(April 14, 2002)
“This is yet another achievement for Katha which has carved out a place for itself in the field of short stories and fiction in translation.”

The Telegraph
(May 3, 2002)

“Katha’s first novel comes as a pleasant surprise. Well-defined characters and a powerful and unusual narrative make it an absorbing read.”


(April 15, 2002)
Novel venture at Katha

“Katha has for nearly a decade been providing g a unique forum for both emerging and established writers.”

“Katha has gone a long way in showcasing the expanse of Indian literaure in a bid to affirming that writing transcends all barriers, linguistic and thematic, and underline a stunning range of themes, settings and literary styles.”

“Literary circles have recognized Katha’ s “trial-blazing effort” to “salvage the lost classics of modern India, translating them into English with flair.” - Books
(May 13, 2002)
“The story enthralls the reader by its simplicity and the a very fundamental level of apprehension. It does not expose a universally felt predicament; it does not speak of gigantic heroics."

The Asian Age
(April 16, 2002)
“Kambar’s works are inspired by folk tradition, particularly the folklore and mythology of northern Karnataka which he weaves into his writing with consummate ease. The book has been successfully translated into English by Laxmi Chandrashekar, a difficult task, as anyone who has tried even something simple like explaining a hindi song in english knows.”

“As Uday Prakash, himself a well-known hindi writer said of the book and Kambar’s style, “for the reader, I can say, on one can put down this book, as an author, I amazed by this (Kambar) style. He has evolved a kind of style which is very complex. I congratulate Katha for having chosen a very good novel.”

“So, not only to all the parents out there but to children too, get out there and explore the rich world of regional tales, and kids, time to corner parents and grandparents into telling you some amazing stories. This is your future, but it might be time to bring a little of the magic of the past back into it.”

The Times of India - Bangalore Times
(May 15, 2002)

Kambar now in English
“Katha, the leading New Delhi-based publishing house, has been championing the cause of translating short stories from regional languages into English for 14 years.”

Times of India - Pune Times
(April 13, 2002)

“Lending a helping hand towards breaking down such wall are publishing houses which promote works of translation, mostly from a regional language to English. On a parallel front, they also provide a national (and at times global) platform for a relatively unknown author. This, in a nutshell, is what Delhi-based Katha does, an example of which can be witnessed on April 13 when Kannda writer Dr Chandrasekhar Kambar’s novel Singarevva And The Palace is released at Either Or, Sohrab Hall.”

The author
The translator

Publishers: Katha [Kannada Library]
Cover Design: Geeta Dharmarajan
Cover Painting: Samir Mondal
Size 5.5” x 8” [PB]
ISBN 81-87649-35-6
Price: Rs 250

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"A striking feature of La.Sa.Ra.'s writing is his characterisation."

The Hindu
(Literary Review, August 6, 2006)

"A touch of the mystical ..."

L.S. RAMAMIRTHAM, or La.Sa.Ra as he is better known, won the Sahitya Akademi award in 1989 and has authored seven novels besides other works. He has been translated into Czech and French and now into English by Padma Narayanan.

Life as an orphan

Dharmarajan was orphaned when very young and his uncle, a temple priest, brings him up. The story begins with him meeting his cousin Mani, who has taken up the job of the priest after his father. Dharmu strikes a deal with Mani to take his place in the temple one day in the week and perform the rituals for the goddess. Dharmu had started out as a travelling salesman and eventually works in a bank where he helps Gomathi get a job there as well. After a gap of 12 years he runs into her and the two catch up on the major events of their lives in the intervening period.

Gomathi is tied down by her gambler husband and finds her joy in her son Prashanth. She's had to pawn her jewels with Manekchand. She worships the ground Dharmu walks on though the latter has a daughter as old as her. Gushes to his face about his fair appearance, good looks, culinary skills, perfectionism, "you seem an illusion, not even a poem, but only the memory of poetry". He is tall, his hair shines like pure white silk, impressive in his flowing white muslin garments, he stands clear as a waterfall.

His landlord, a Nadaar, venerates him and the exaggerated hospitality and adoration are fulsome. All this because of his arresting appearance and Dharmu at one point laments, "my looks are my misfortune". He goes to Manekchand to work as his cook and the seth mistakes him for a European! The sowcar treats him as his brother, but our man steals the bundle containing Gomathi's jewels. The same morning his employer dies and the needle of suspicion points to Dharmu. The first novella ends here and the next picks up the thread from there.

Broad strokes

The protagonist is awarded a prison term of five years but because of his good conduct he is out after three and a half years. But the further he runs from relationships the harder they chase him. His first meeting with Maragatham is explosive: as a salesman once he has to make do with an overnight stay in a village priest's house. In the night's darkness near the well in the backyard when he slips and falls she pleads with him, a total stranger, to take her away from there. The marriage is soon on the rocks and the mother and dancer-daughter leave him.

A very striking feature of La.Sa.Ra.'s writing is his characterisation. At the outset he paints his protagonist with broad strokes — a handsome rascal as it were — but gradually the character evolves and it becomes clear he is not a smooth operator but is a gentleman after all. In contrast, Gomathi comes off as a tepid character, cloying and weak. The other two women in the story, Maragatham and Madhu, are tarred and damned from the word go. Nadaar fears Dharmu might melt into thin air and Gomathi too echoes the sentiment. Aachchi believes that after Dharmu leaves, misfortunes pile up on her. The mysterious element about the lead character is thus accentuated. His one-sided dialogue with his beloved flute touches on the mystical.
Pithy sayings and rhetorical queries abound: "We have an infinite capacity to deceive ourselves". "What we generally see around us is the jackal groaning while the elephant carries the burden".

Central motif

The motif of the stone in both the novellas and the title is central to the theme and symbolic. The hero first interprets the smile of the deity as giving him the go-ahead for the questionable action planned. But as punishment to the crime committed overtakes him in no time, he begins to believe that the stone goddess is laughing at him and his folly. The devotee's adoration and indulgence are complete and life with its many unexpected twists and turns is no longer a puzzle or sheer misery.

The author takes the easy way out to tie up the loose ends. In the last seven pages of the book he assembles all the salient characters together and gets the protagonist to explain threadbare all his actions.

- Seline Augustine

The New Indian Express
(Sunday Express, August 27, 2006)

The Stone Laughs and Atonement by La Sa Ra (two novellas) are about Gomathi and Dharmarajan who are stuck in their everyday routine lives. United by an uncommon bond that defies definition, their paths cross again and again till they realise the absolute they seek lie within. As Gabriella Eichinger Ferro-Luzzi, the famous dravidiologist, puts it, “Dharmarajan’s spiritual experiences and his relationship with the goddess Kamalambikai in the two novellas are infused with a passion both subtle and assertive. La Sa Ramamirtham was a banker and writer who was part of the avant garde “Manikodi” movement of the 1930s and 40s. Though his style is difficult, and full of his philosophical preoccupations, he has a major fan following. And a new book by him was a much looked forward to event.

This translation will open doors to a generation grown up without having been exposed to the world of La Sa Ra.

The author

La Sa Ra

The translator

Padma Narayanan

Language: English
Cover Design: Netra Shyam
Cover Photograph Courtesy: Ebe Chaney
ISBN 81-87649-72-0
Price: Rs 200

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"Two brothers create the world; a river wanders over the mountain; the dove sings a lullaby; a wayward sun tries to scorch the earth.
Four delightful tales from Arunachal Pradesh on how the world came to be."
The Hindu
(Young World, February 17, 2006)
The first is a collection of tales of how the earth came to be. Sourced from Arunachal Pradesh, these stories are presented by Mamang Dai with art by Nimret Handa. The planet has its origins in all things natural. The wind, water and the sun have shaped the world, as we know it, with a little help from those living higher up. "Why the dove weeps" is probably the best of the lot.
The art is what constitutes the main appeal. The colours add to the mood and highlight the fine lines of the drawings.
- Paromita Pain
The New Indian Express
(School Magazine, July 26, 2006)

Once Upon a Moontime is a folktale about the formation of the earth, the rivers, the green trees and towering mountains. Nature comes alive through author Mamang Dai's pen, and vivid and colourful illustrations in bold colours, flaming reds, turquoise blues, golden yellows and magentas, from Nimret Handa.

The book consists of four chapters - How the World Was Made, The Story of the River, Why the Dove Weeps and The Sun and the Moon.

The first chapter traces the evolution of the world. Two brothers in the sky, Lopong Rimbuche and Chom Dande, decide to mould and shape water and land, with the aid of the wind to form the earth, as it is today. The second story paints a blue picture of the world, before the earth was formed. Nature collaborated with God Techimdum to carve the way for the rivers and streams to flow winding around the hills and meandering onto the plains to bring nature's bounties to the men and women, animals and birds.

The third story weaves a poignant tale about the dove who, on a morning, while helping Donyi the Sun to carry her baby across the skies, dropped the eppon, which was used to carry the baby across the endless skies, to the earth. In a bid to retrieve it, Dove flew down to earth but, weighed down by the weight of the eppon, she could not fly back to the abode of Donyi. Lamenting being unable to take care of the baby, Dove till today lets out her cry of despair, 'ku.. kuku..ku'.

At the beginning of time, there were two suns. The fourth story tells how the younger sun fell into trouble, when, with his heat, he sent the people of earth into great misery. Finally, he was banished and sent into a pool of mud, and was reduced to a pale state. This semi-reduced state of brightness became the moon.

These sweet tales are easy to read and highly enjoyable for young readers. There are also lessons to learn from the folktales, about how friends get together to make the impossible, possible. The white snowy mountains, the golden sun, the blue waters and nature's bounties conspire together to spin a tale of magic, called Once Upon a Moontime.

- Sujata Chakrabarti
The author
The Illustrator
Publishers: Katha
Language: English
32 pages, size 8.25 x 6
Age Group:
5 - 8 years
ISBN 81-89020-34-X
Price: Rs 80

Monday, October 09, 2006

"A lyrical tribute to the earth and its amazing diversity, with plenty of information and colourful artwork. How can we keep our earth green and blue? How can we care for and share this planet with others and at the same time, enjoy being part of it? Sensitively written, it's a must-read for youngsters." - Print Pick, The Hindu

"Our Earth's a gift in green and blue
To men and women, children too
So let's enjoy this planet rare
Let's remember to care and share ..."

The Hindu
(Young World, April 7, 2006)

A story about the beauty of the planet and the need to preserve it.

"Home to creatures big and small
To the wind and waterfall
To the trees and all things green...
To the worms that work unseen
To elephants that roam the wild
... To cows and draft animals mild
To men and women, children too
Our Earth's a gift in green and blue
So let's enjoy this planet rare
Let's remember to care and share."

This verse also serves as a delightful content page for the book, Earth Song by Geeta Dharmarajan. The snippets of information can be easily understood.

A page would contain six to seven capsules. For example in the page "Home to creatures big and small": "There are about 24,000 known species of butterflies. Do you know that butterflies taste with their feet? Their taste sensors are located there and by standing on their food, they can taste it!"

The creatures mentioned have their names in bold, for quick identification. A huge illustration dominates the page. Each animal is numbered and a list of names corresponds to the numbers on the side of the vividly colourful illustration. You can discover the animal with the corresponding number. The artwork by Enrique Lara and Luis Garcia, stand out especially as they appear to have been made with plastercine.

- Rohini Ramakrishnan

The New Indian Express
(School Magazine, July 19, 2006)

Geeta Dharmarajan has a unique way of adding life even to the most boring subjects. If you read Earthsong, you'll realise it. it's not the environmental studies book you must have read in school. Or maybe it is, just a better one, a much better one. The book opens with a little poem which almost sounds like a version of the "All things are bringht and beautiful" song you learnt in school. Then the more serious stuff follows, in a way that doesn't sound so serious. Every page has a group of living beings in their natural environment with their names mentioned in a separate box.

And there's a small piece of trivia on each - trivia that's interesting and something that not many are aware of. For example, did you know that cats have 244 bones in their bodies, that's even more than humans have. Or that flamingos get their pink colour from the carotene-rich food they eat. Or that the front lawns of eight houses have the same cooling effect as 24 large air-conditioners. This and other interesting stuff comprise a greater part of the book. A strong point of the book is the art work by Enrique Lara and Luis Garcia, with every creature looking like it's about to come out of the page.

And, in the end, there is also a message for all you young readers out there. A message book that isn't too preachy. What else do you want?

- Shalini Shah

About the author

Geeta Dharmarajan

About the Illustrators

Enrique Lara & Luis Garcia

: Katha
Language: English
32 pages, size 8 x 10
Age Group: 5 - 8 Years
ISBN 81-89020-40-4 [HB]
ISBN 81-89020-44-7 [PB]
Price: Rs 150 [HB]
Rs 120 [PB]

Thursday, October 05, 2006

(September 28, 2006)

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Tales from underworld gang wars and racy fare about a small-town girl in the big, bad world of Bollywood will be on show next week as India takes top billing at the world's largest book fair.

Around 70 writers including big names such as Vikram Seth, Vikram Chandra and Shashi Tharoor -- who is in the race for the top job at the United Nations -- are expected to make an appearance at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

India was invited as guest of honour to the five-day event starting October 4, with organisers saying they wanted to bring contemporary India to a wider international audience.

The special presence at Frankfurt is seen as an acknowledgement of an increasing interest in Indian writing and more broadly in its culture as the country's profile rises thanks to its booming economy.

Publishers have compared the renewed interest in Indian English writing to a similar wave nearly a decade ago when Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy made a splash with her debut novel "The God of Small Things."

"Indian writing is no longer considered exotica. It is now mainstream in the UK and the US," says Thomas Abraham, CEO of Penguin India, the country's largest general interest book publisher.

This year, the 45-year-old Chandra -- whose 900-page novel "Sacred Games" has been hailed as the biggest thing in literary circles here -- reportedly took a million-dollar advance from US publishers Harper Collins.

Chandra is one of the most celebrated among a generation of young India writers increasingly winning international acclaim. Others include Amitav Ghosh, Amit Chaudhuri and British-born Rana Dasgupta whose debut novel "Tokyo, Cancelled" earned lavish praise last year.

"Sacred Games", a crime thriller set in Mumbai city's underworld, and "Tokyo Cancelled" -- about 13 Tokyo-bound passengers stranded at an airport -- are among the 55 books by Indians to be translated into European languages for the event.

"These writers are finally breaking the mould. These are voices with a rare confidence because they are not India-specific in content," says writer Shobhaa De, author of several racy relationship best sellers. "The hangover of the British school of classical writing is over.

"These writers have been bold enough to break away," says De, whose "Starry Nights" about a star in India's formulaic and prolific Bollywood film industry who is supported by an underworld boss will also feature at Frankfurt.

In a sign of the times, international publisher Random House set up shop in India last year. Penguin India ventured into publishing in Hindi and Marathi languages and plans to introduce more of the nearly two-dozen India's official languages with an eye on the expanding market for regional literature.

"Confidence in English writing is infusing better work in translations which do justice to the vast variety of Indian literature in other languages," said Geeta Dharmarajan, director of non-profit Katha, which promotes non-English literature.

While the book market in the West is estimated to be growing at around eight percent, the Indian market is growing at around 15 percent, says Thomas, whose company recorded a 20 percent growth last year.

Book publishing in India is estimated to generate 685 million dollars a year, according to the government-run publisher National Book Trust. With an annual 28,000 titles, India publishes the world's largest number of English books after the US and Britain.

Industry watchers, however, said India would take several years to catch up with Western countries in terms of both the variety of literature and the sales.

"The market is driven by education and text books. We are a generation away from non-fiction. There is still a world-class thriller to come out of India," says Penguin's Abraham.

But writer Namita Gokhale, one of the participants at the fair, said it was hard to ignore India any longer.

"India is a huge paradox -- both unchanged and unchanging, modern yet rooted in tradition -- and our literature has so much to say about this radical sense of change. It's a great moment in history," said Gokhale.

Link-o-mania @

Tuesday, October 03, 2006


It doesn't get any bigger than this.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is where it's at. Where the largest publishing houses will compete. Where books from every corner of the world, written by the best writers, the greatest translators and the most excellent of illustrators will submit their work. Where they will be presented as a collective whole, to the audience. It is any publisher's dream. And the delight of any lover of books.

This year, India is the Guest of Honour. For the second time, at a moment when its economy in general, and publishing in particular is enjoying a phase of rapid commercial and creative development.

India has always been a land of storytellers. Over the centuries, we have honed the fine art of telling the short story - be it in our epics, our mythologies, our folktales or in our more recent writings. Told by traditional Katha vachaks, village storytellers and one's favourite grandmother, we have all heard stories that have taught us our values, our morals, our culture. "Katha" or the narrative is a special legacy that continues to exist in our country as a rich and fascinating tradition, moving with grace and felicity from the oral traditions to the written texts, from the heard word to the read.

"India is one of the largest emerging markets in the world," Jurgen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, says. "We are looking forward to presenting in Frankfurt the great changes that have taken place in India over the past 20 years."

Katha too, has a vision. To spread the joy of reading, knowing, and living amongst adults and children, the common reader and the neo-literate. To establish a code of excellence in all that it does, to enhance the quality of life in every project it has attempted.

And that is why, we present, at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the best of India translated. Our writers come from every corner of India - from the unexplored Northeast to the fiery deserts of the West. From snowy Northern peaks, to the rolling plains of the Deccan, the tapering lands of the South. Our translators are the bridges that connect languages. They hear, see and write words, capture images in another language, that others may also perceive the joy of the written word in a bhaasha they do not know. Our illustrators bring a story to life. They make you turn the pages. They make you gasp in awe at the sheer beauty and magic of their pens, brushes and pencils. They are the best of the best.

Do visit us here, at the Frankfurt Book Fair:

Hall No 5.0, Stall No: D 9217

The following authors will be present at the stall, to do select book reads, and share their thoughts about their award-winning works:

We're looking forward to having you with us.
After all ... as Katha's Executive Director, Geeta Dharmarajan says,

"Finding the full moon is no fun. It is the quest for third crescents, that hint of glow, that elusive nuance in a story that makes Katha’s work creative."

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Deccan Chronicle
(September 19, 2006)

Books by Indira Goswami, Krishna Sobti and Maitreyi Pushpa will air the rich, paradoxical continuum of Indian language literature at the Frankfurt Book Fair, said Katha executive director Geeta Dharmarajan.

Goswami's The Man from Chinnamasta, Sobti's The Heart Has Its Reasons and Pushpa's Alma Kabutari will be Katha's main English offerings at the fair that begins October 4.

"At the fair, Katha is showcasing the multi-dimensional literary traditions of Indian languages through translations," said Dharmarajan.

"Our new releases from brilliant writers who come from different geographical and cultural spaces, such as Goswami and Pushpa, present before the world the rich and paradoxical continuum of Indian language literature," she added. Katha will carry 60 books, including 25 children's books, to the fair that honours India as a special guest this year.

"We are also taking U. N. Singh's collection of poems originally written in Maithali. His second person singular springs from the ancient land of Mithila and looks at language as an ironic link between human spaces," said Dharmarajan. Maestros of modern storytelling will complete with Chitra Katha Award winner, Komilla Raote's The Princess with the Longest Hair, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyaya's The Mountain of the Moon, Abanindranath Tagore's Raj Kahini and Naiyer Masud's The Myna from Peacock Garden.

- Shinie Anthony
News about Katha in:

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Survivors

Shortlisted for the Hutch Crossword award 2005: Indian Language Translation

The Survivors explores the collapse of kinship culture under the corrosive influence of modernization. It moves back and forth in time to reveal how neocolonial practices in India have surreptitiously replaced the colonial system, thus making the oppression of the common man a seamless continuity. It suggests that only personal revolt, stemming from an awareness about the need for a social upheaval, will help us reach that little place on earth where humanity survives all outrage.
(March 20, 2005)

"...Gurdial Singh’s work has been translated well by Rana Nayar, who has earlier translated two novels and a collection of short stores by the same author. He has made this book available to a far wider audience than the Punjabi original could have reached out to. This endeavour is both worthwhile and appreciable. The book also has a list of Gurdial Singh’s works and awards.

In the introduction Rana Nayar gives an overview of the Punjabi language, literary tradition and novel as well as the author and his writing. This is instructive ... in the ... well-produced book with an excellent cover, which has a painting by Manjit Bawa."

“Gurdial Singh has been seen as an autodidact ... a villager who knows his roots and who voices the anguish of the marginalized.”
– Jasbir Jain's Review

The author

The translator

Publisher: Katha
Cover Painting: Ranjit Bawa
Price: Rs 250
ISBN: 81-89020-24-2
< ? indian bloggers # >