From Perumal Murugan's The Goat Thief to Tamil Pulp Fiction, a look at recent notable translations

Editor's note: This is the final part in a series on translation efforts in India. In part one, we looked at some contemporary efforts. In part two, we read about the power of the vernacular pen. In part three, we tried to understand why people translate. This week, we take a look at all the translated works making news.

Ambai’s A Night With A Black Spider, translated by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, is a new collection from Speaking Tiger featuring short stories translated from Tamil. The stories range from the mythological to the real, and present an intimate look at the author’s many worlds.

Blaft Publications which has previously brought out two volumes of Tamil Pulp Fiction translated to English and deservedly has a cult following, is out with the third volume, The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction Volume 3. Cherrie Lalnunziri Chhangte’s The Blaft Book of Mizo Myths, from the Chennai-based Blaft Publications, which was out last year, is also a fantastic book that brings stories from the misty mountains of Mizoram to the English language. The thin volume of six stories seems a right introduction to folk stories rich with beasts and beauties from the northeastern state.

Perumal Murugan's short stories have been translated and published in a new collection called 'Goat Thief'

Perumal Murugan's short stories have been translated and published in a new collection called 'The Goat Thief'

The Goat Thief by Perumal Murugan, translated by N Kalyan Raman, is recently out from Juggernaut. Perumal Murugan is an important voice in contemporary India throwing light on the Tamil society in the Kongu region. This is his second book since being resurrected from his literary suicide. One that he was forced into by mobs that sought to stifle his voice.

The prolific Kannada writer Jayant Kaikini’s No Presents Please, Mumbai Stories is all set for release later this month from HarperPerennial. Kaikini is one of Kannada’s most important contemporary voices. The collection has been translated by Tejaswini Niranjana. Kaikini’s stories are set in contemporary India while his style is classic.

Aleph publication brought out The Greatest Urdu Stories Ever Told selected and translated by Muhammed Umar Memon. With 25 jewels that showcase the fine traditions of the Urdu literary landscape the book is a must-have for both, those interested in the Urdu world of words as well as the Indian translation story.

Earlier in the year, the fantastic Malayalam writer KR Meera’s The Poison of Love was translated by Ministhy S. The book is a look at love and cruelty from the author of the award-winning Hangwoman, that came out in 2014.

The Glory of Patan by KM Munshi, translated from Gujarati by Rita Kothari and Abhijit Kothari earlier this year, is the first book in the epic trilogy. With a vulnerable throne and schemes abound, this expansive novel about the quest for control in the Patan fort is from a writer whose “historical novels have contributed profoundly to the sense of past that Gujarat lives with”. With the battle for Gujarat growing loud, as elections near, and a Prime Minister who talks about the ‘Gujarati Asmita’ (pride), what better time than now to try and understand a part of that?

Broken Man by prominent Marathi poet Loknath Yashwanth is forthcoming from Panther’s Paw Publications translated to English by Dr. K Jamnadas and Yogesh Maitreya. Loknath Yashwanth is himself a translator and has translated Mansur Eizaz Josh, Jayant Parmar and Nida Fazli to Marathi.

Arunava Sinha, who translates from Bangla to English, was recently awarded the 2017 PEN Translates grant for his translation of Sangeeta Bandhopadhyay’s The Yogini. Shakti Chattopadhyay’s Very Close to Pleasure, There’s a Sick Cat translated by Sinha from Bangla is also all set to release soon from Seagull Books.

Also read parts onetwo and three.

The writer is the founding editor of The Madras Mag


Updated Date: Nov 26, 2017 16:08 PM

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