Six and a Third Acres
Author: Fakir Mohan Senapati
Translated by Leelawati Mohapatra, Paul St-Pierre, K. K. Mohapatra
9789390652082 | PB | pp. 208 | 2021 | Aleph Book Company
Six and a Third Acres was the first modern Odia novels. It is the story of a family trapped in the devious schemes of the zamindari system of the erstwhile colonial India.
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Six and a Third Acres was the first modern Odia novel, and has remained at the heart of Odin literary excellence ever since. It was published as Chha Mana Atha Guntha in the literary monthly Utkal Sahitya between 1897–99. Over a century after it was first published, this sombre tale continues to attract readers because of Fakir Mohan Senapati’s innovative technique, indelible characters, wit, imagination, and tremendous insights into the rural milieu. The novel is about village politics, caste oppression, malpractices, and land-grabbing under the zamindari system in colonial Odisha. Ramchandra Mangaraj, a sly zamindar of the village of Govindpur, is notorious for taking over the lands of poor peasants and farmers. This time, his avaricious gaze falls on a small patch of land–six and a third acres–belonging to a humble, god-fearing weaver couple. Unable to fight the zamindari devious schemes, the couple succumbs to the harsher realities of caste-ridden village life. This exceptional new translation by Leelawati Mohapatra, Paul St-Pierre & K. K. Mohapatra breathes new life into one of the most brilliant novels in Indian literature.
Fakir Mohan Senapati
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Aleph Book Company
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About the Contributors
The author (1843-1918) was an Indian novelist, short story writer, poet, philosopher, and social reformer. He is regarded as the father of modern Odia literature.
Leelawati Mohapatra published her debut novel, Hanging by a Tail, in 2008. She has co-translated (with K. K. Mohapatra and Paul St-Pierre) extensively from Odia into English. Her books of translation include, among others, The Greatest Odia Stories Ever Told; The HarperCollins Book of Oriya Short Stories; Ants, Ghosts and Whispering Trees: An Anthology of Oriya Short Stories; J. P. Das: Sundardas; Fakir Mohan Senapati: The Bride-price and Other Stories; and Laxmikanta Mahapatra: Uncle One Eye.
Paul St-Pierre is a former professor of Translation Studies at Montreal University. He has co-edited several books on translation theory and practice and has spent nearly a quarter-century collaborating with, apart from the Mohapatras, several Odia translators, such as Ganeswar Mishra, Basant Kumar Tripathy, Himansu Sekhar Mohapatra, Rabindra Swain, and Dipti Ranjan Patnaik.
K. K. (Kamalakanta) Mohapatra has written three collections of short stories, a novel, a book of non-fiction and an autobiography. He has also translated into Odia selected stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Franz Kafka, as well as William Shakespeare’s King Lear and collaborated with Leelawati Mohapatra and Paul St-Pierre on numerous works of translation from Odia into English, including most recently, The Greatest Odia Stories Ever Told.
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