Oxford University Press has got yet another feather in the cap by publishing Oxford Novellas, six this time.
The novella as a genre is an underestimated and under-read form. To translate novellas from different Indian languages is, indeed, an act of opening a new horizon. To read them together was an experience in itself. Manageable in time, unintimidating in size but nevertheless complex in its narrative and themes, it lures the reader into unknown worlds and times in Indian literature.
Of the six novellas two are by women and translated by women — Nabaneeta Dev Sen’s Sheet Sahasik Hemantolok (Defying Winter, Bengali, translated by Tutun Mukherjee) and Saniya’s Tyanantar (Thereafter, Marathi, translated by Maya Pandit). The other four novellas are from the four major South Indian languages: C.S. Chellappa’s Vaadivaasal (Arena, Tamil translated by N. Kalyan Raman), Na. D’Souza’s Dweepa (Island, Kannada, translated by Susheela Punitha), Kesava Reddy’s Moogavani Pillanagrovi (Ballad of Ontillu, Telugu, translated by the author) and Johny Miranda’s Jeevichirikkunnavarkku Vendiyulla Oppees (Requiem for the Living, Malayalam, translated by Sajai Jose).