Best of Indian Literature – Vol.1 Book 1
Editor : Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee and A.J. Thomas
9788126041381 | HB | pp. 715 | 2017 | Sahitya Akademi
The Best of India Literature, as the title signifies, contains the best of short fiction, poetry, drama and creative prose which were published in India Literature during the half century 1957-2007.
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Though modernity had dawned in Indian regional literatures in the early decades of the last century, and had almost simultaneously, taken up the cause of the nationalist movement and themselves developed tremendously in the process, each literature projecting the vision of a free, glorious Indian nation although in actual fact the county was fragmented into several hundred little kingdoms – most of these regional literatures had not in fact consciously come up on the world scenario.
The confidence that Indian literatures were worthy of standing on their own feet along with the world’s best was not there even at the conceptual level. We were happy with where we were Tagore’s Nobel Prize had given a fillip to the national pride, and sustained it for nearly half a century but that had to sadly substitute for any kind of real evaluation and awareness of the worth of one’s own literatures.
It was about this time that Indian Literature was conceived and founded, in Oct. 1957, with the express purpose of making the nation aware of the existence of the various rich literatures of the linguistic regions of India.
As it sails past its Golden Jubilee Year, the development and growth a number of our regional languages have registered can be measured by the number of excellent translations they have produced in English which helped those literatures, in turn, to be catapulted onto the world stage.
Indian Literature can proudly claim the role of the beacon for all such translation activities. Truly, Indian Literature is the journal of Indian literature in English translation, the brand new discipline several of our universities have adopted recently, and which is being taken up by many more.
Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee, A.J. Thomas
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About the Editors
Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee (b. 1947) is a reputed scholar, critic, cultural administrator, editor and translator. He has taught English Literature at a Gauhati University College and Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata. He has also held important positions including Regional Secretary, Sahitya Akademi’s Eastern Regional Office at Kolkata and Director, National Book Trust, at New Delhi. He has also edited Sahitya Akademi’s prestigious bi-monthly journal Indian Literature for five years. An accomplished translator from Bengali into English and vice-versa, his English translations of books by major Bengali fiction writers like Mahasweta Devi, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Manik Bandyopadhyay and others have been very well received. A member of the Programme Advisory Committee of the National Translation Mission, Shri Bhattacharjee has been conferred excellence in translation award at the IBBY Congress, London 20l2. He has recently co-edited a volume titled Barbed Wire Fence, a compilation of narratives of displacement from the Barak Valley of Assam. Shri Bhattacharjee is currently working as the Director of K.K. Birla Foundation, New Delhi.
A.J. Thomas (b.l952) is an Indian English poet and fiction writer. He translates poetry, fiction, and drama and non-fiction prose from Malayalam. He was Assistant Editor of Indian Literature from November I997, Editor from April 2007 to October 2008, and Guest Editor from May 2011. He is also a Senior Consultant at IGNOU and is presently teaching English in Benghazi University, Ajdabiya Branch, Libya. Germination (poetry, I989) Bhaskara Pattelar and Other Stories, (Manas, I993), Reflections of a Hen in Her Last Hour and Other Stories (Penguin India), both Paul Zacharia’s stories in translation, ONV Kurup’s verse-novel Ujjayini, (Rupa) and a poetry collection he edited, and This Ancient Lyre (Sahitya Akademi), are some of his noted contributions. His anthology appearances include The Literary Review Indian Poetry (USA-2009) and the HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (20l2) among others. He is the recipient of Katha Award, AKMG Prize (which enabled him to tour USA, UK and Europe in I997) and Vodafone Crossword Award (2007). He is also Senior Fellow, Department of Culture, Govt. of India and Honorary Fellow, Department of Culture, Government of South Korea and was invited as a Guest Speaker in writers’ conferences in South Korea, Australia, Thailand and Nepal.
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