Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Indira Goswami

Also known as Mamoni Raisom Goswami, a celebrated name in the field of Asomiya literature, blends scholarliness with creativity. Writing from a very early age, she prefers to soak up the environment of the topic she is writing on – even if it means staying at Brindavan to research for her doctoral thesis or camping at the Kamakhya temple in Assam to gather first-hand experience for her novel. She has travelled extensively both within India and abroad.

She balances the intensive and extensive research for her writings with a full-fledged teaching job at the University of Delhi where she is the Head of the Department of Modern Indian Languages and Literary Studies. She has written several novels, hundreds of short stories and a number of research papers. Her works have been extensively translated into various bhashas including English. Several feature films, television serials, telefilms and stage plays have been adapted from her novels and short stories.

Her voluminous work, Ramayana from Ganga to Brahmaputra was released by the former President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma. She has received the International Tulsi Award on the occasion of International Conference on “Tulsi Das and His Works” from the Florida International University, Florida , USA.

She has been honoured with several national and international awards including the Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, Bharat Nirman Award, Assam Sahitya Sabha Award, Katha Award for Creative Fiction, the Kamal Kumari Foundation Award and the International Jury Award for the film Adarya based on her novel Une Khowa Hawda.

Her latest release from Katha: "The Man from Chinnamasta" translated by Prashant Goswami, from Asomiya.

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Alka Saraogi

She is a well-known contemporary Hindi writer. She has three novels and two short story collections to her credit. Her first novel, Kali-Katha: via Bypass, was seen as a sign of revival of the Hindi novel. It won the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 2001 and Srikant Verma Award in 1998. It has been translated into Urdu, English, French, and Italian, and is being translated into Bengali, Marathi, Gujrati, Oriya, and Tamil. Her second novel, Shesh Kadambari, is being translated into Bangla, Urdu and Oriya besides Italian and French.

Alka Saraogi's work with Katha: "Over to you, Kadambari" translated from the Hindi by Vandana R Singh.

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Kiran Nagarkar

Winner of the 2001 Sahitya Akademi Award for the novel Cuckold, he is author of the landmark Marathi novel Saat Sakkam Trechalis published in English by Katha as Seven Sixes Are Forty Three.

Nagarkar, born in Mumbai in 1942, has often spoken of his childhood, of how his grandfather was ostracised because he broke away from the vice-like grip of the Chitpavan Brahmin community, about how the Marathi people have never forgiven him for writing in English, and how his hybrid work has never been fully accepted.

Kiran Nagarkar's work with Katha: "Seven 6s are 43," has been translated from Marathi by Shubha Slee.

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Gurdial Singh

An eminent writer, he had his first short story published in 1957. His creative works span a variety of genres – novels, short story collections, dramas, prose and books for children. Besides several literary and academic publications he has written several articles for journals and newspapers on serious cultural, social, political and economic problems of Punjab and Indian society. He has also translated a number of books from English and Hindi into Punjabi and from Punjabi into these languages. He has been honoured with several awards including the Padma Shri, Bharatiya Jnanpith Award, Shiromani Sahitkar Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, Punjabi Sahitya Akademi Award and many more.

He has been a member of various literary institutions like the Sahitya Akademi, Kendri Punjabi Lekhak Sabha, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, Punjabi University, Patiala, et cetera. His novels have been widely translated into Indian and foreign languages. His novel Marhi Da Deeva was reproduced as a feature film by NFDC.

"For a long time, in India at least, what we will go on needing is ... a Gurdial Singh."

- The Hindu

Gurdial Singh's work with Katha: "The Survivors" translated From the Punjabi by Rana Nayar

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Maitreyi Pushpa

In the past nine years, she has become the urgent voice of blood, sweat and tears fiction about Bundelkhand and its people, especially the trodden but strong-willed women. Breaking convention, setting rules, she has to her credit five novels (Idannamum and Chaak being novels of note) and three collections of short stories.

Born in Sikurar Village, Aligarh district, UP, Maitreyi Pushpa is a recipient of many Awards, she has written consistently about rural India, keeping Panchayats as a central issue in her stories, and has endeavoured to explore the web of human relationships in a time of moral ambivalence and social uncertainty. She is the recipient of many accolades including the SAARC Literary Award for Alma Kabutari, the Premchand Samman and the Sahityakar Samman.

In her words, "Women have come a long way from their position of subordination to carving out a niche for themselves. They have had to bear harassment and torture to bring about this change. There are hopes resting on the new generation that they will be able to take up the challenges of the day and take this movement forward."

Her latest title with Katha, "Alma Kabutari" has been translated from Hindi, by Raji Narasimhan.

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Krishna Sobti

Writer par excellence, Krishna Sobti's contributions to Indian literature transcends all cultural boundaries. Her innovative use of language, technique and refreshing delineation of strong women characters have opened new vistas in Hindi literature.

One of the most creative and engaging aspects of Krishna Sobti's writings is her lively language. Her contribution to Hindi is immense. She has not only added a multitude of new words and expressions to the language, but also experimented with and successfully introduced new styles and techniques of writing. Krishna Sobti has a number of enthralling and exquisite literary works to her credit, which include Daar Se Bichhudi, Mitro Marjani, Surajmukhi Andhere ke, Zindaginama, Ai Ladki, Hum Hashmat, Yaaron ke Yaar, Teen Pahad, Badalon ke Ghere, Sobti Ek Sohbat, and Samay Sargam, amongst others. Each of these works have an unusual use of the Hindi language, highly coloured with the flavour of the region the story is set in, Punjab in Daar se Bichhudi; and Rajasthan in Mitro Marjani.

Her writings cover a vast range of issues, including partition, upheaval and turmoil in Indian society, man-woman relationship, feudalism and dissolution of human values. Her works have been translated into various Indian and foreign languages - Ai Ladki into Swedish and English, Sobti Ek Sohbat into Swedish and Urdu and Mitro Marjani into Russian.

She is the first Hindi woman writer to receive the Sahitya Akademi Award for her magnum opus, Zindaginama. She is also the recipient of the first Katha Chudamani Award for Lifetime Literary Achievement, conferred on her in 1999. Other notable awards to her credit include the Hindi Akademi Award, Shiromani Award, Maithili Sharan Gupt Samman, Shalaka Samman, Sadbhavana Puraskar, and various fellowships including the exclusive Shimla and Punjab University Fellowships and the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship.

Krishna Sobti lives in Delhi and is currently working on a number of manuscripts including Gujrat se Gujrat. She stays in our minds as a gutsy, indomitable woman who likes to live life on her own terms and who - as a writer and as an individual - has created a niche for herself in Hindi literature that is rightfully hers.

The Tribune
"Here is a writer deeply rooted in the integrated human experience who believes in combining both male and female elements creatively in the content."

"Krishna Sobti allows freedom even to her characters, so they can speak out her silences."

"Krishna Sobti is one of the revered sentinels of modern Indian literature."

Krishna Sobti's award-winning work "The Heart has its Reasons" has been translated from Hindi by Reema Anand and Meenakshi Swami, for Katha.

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