Leave a comment

Indian university mulls adding Facebook post writing in English literature course

The Delhi University (DU) in the Indian capital is contemplating to include “Facebook post writing” as part of its English literature course, officials said Wednesday.

A core committee in the English department has recommended the addition as a skill enhancement course.

“Now social media is part of our lives. Therefore, it was deemed necessary to train students in the new genre to help them convey their thoughts clearly,” said an official at DU’s English department. “The writings on social media need to be properly written as it is becoming part of literature.”

The university’s English department has already sent a proposal containing recommendations to all its affiliated colleges teaching the undergraduate courses in literature studies and sought their feedback. Read more

Source: Xinhua


Leave a comment

Ipaf winner Mohammed Hasan Alwan’s A Small Death set to be a life-changer

By Saeed Saeed

Mohammed Hasan Alwan looks slightly worried as he holds a buzzing mobile phone.

“I think it is going to explode,” he says. Such is the concern when you have just been announced as the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

The Saudi Arabian author triumphed at the landmark 10th edition of the awards, held in the capital on Tuesday evening.

The success – for his dazzling and meditative novel A Small Death – firmly positions the 38-year-old as one of the leading lights of Arabic literature.

It comes after years of being on the cusp of greatness. This was his second time on the Ipaf shortlist; his novel The Beaver made it to the last six in 2015, and was named the best Arabic novel translated into French that year.

Alwan was also selected as one of the 39 best Arabic writers by the Hay Festival and Beirut World Book Capital, with his work published in the long-running Beirut39 anthology series. Read more

Source: The National


Leave a comment

Oxford poet wins prestigious award

By Lucy Enderby

Poet and director of Oxford Business College Dr Padmesh Gupta is to receive the Padmabhushan Moturi Satyanarayan Award for his poems written in Hindi.

Dr Gupta said: “It was a great honour when I found out. My poetry touches base with simpler life and smaller incidents, which I pick up on. Every day inspires me.

I feel that people living outside India, when they write in Indian languages, bring that culture and literature to so many people.”

The award is similar to the Order of the British Empire, and recognises exceptional contribution to Indian literature. It is part of the Hindi Sevi Samman Awards which are given for the promotion of Hindi abroad. Read more

Source: Cherwell.org

 


Leave a comment

Author Punam Chadha Joseph Presented Women Entrepreneurship Award at 3rd Asiad Literature Festival by Bharat Nirman

Punam Chadha Joseph, the renowned author of “The Soulful Seeker” was felicitated at the 3rd edition of the Asiad Literature Festival by Bharat Nirman, with the prestigious ‘Women Entrepreneurship Award’. The third edition of The Asiad Literature Festival event was held on Sunday, 23rd April at The Nehru Centre, Mumbai by Bharat Nirman to reward and empower women and promote the beauty of Indian Literature.

The Asiad Literature Festival seeks to felicitate individuals who have made an outstanding contribution in their field of expertise. The noted author was bestowed with the award for her work and her contribution as a pioneer amongst women writers. She won the prestigious award along with other renowned authors like Divya Dutta, Meghna Pant mong other talented personalities.

Bharat Nirman the organizer of this lit fest was founded in 1980 by Late CA Sri M.C.Bhandari and has been an active participant in the India growth story through its advocacy role for policy makers and regulators of the country. With a large membership base of more than 25,000 direct and indirect members, Bharat Nirman has forged ahead leveraging its legacy with its concern over making India most powerful country across the globe. Read more

Source: Business World


Leave a comment

Book Review: Akbar in the Time of Aurangzeb by Shazi Zaman

By Najmul Hoda

akbarAkbar in the Time of Aurangzeb is arguably the most readable and riveting book written on Akbar. History, biography or historical novel — call it what you may, Shazi Zaman has pulled a major tour de force. This is way better than what the Dalrymples and Rutherfords of the Indian historical fiction industry keep churning out. It has little exotica. Not much trivia. Hard historical facts. Culled from the primary sources, and strung together to make a seamless narrative with minimum speculation and intervention from the author. He lets the historical texts speak. And they speak loud and eloquent.
It’s not about empire building, wars, conquests and administration. Not much. Not directly. If anything—and if the word can be retrospectively used—it’s about nation-building.

It’s about Akbar, the thinker. The seeker, not the believer. The restless contemplator yearning for the resolution of myriad contradictions whirling in his mind. The free-thinker whose mind was free from the shackles of inherited wisdom and certitudes. The man who had the audacity, eagerness and enterprise to go beyond the limits set by his time, place, tradition and culture.

He never rejected Islam. He was devout. Deep. Spiritual. Mystical. Sufi. He delved deep into the meanings of both the precepts and the practices. Precepts kept him tethered. Practices made him break loose. Particularly the shenanigans of the religious establishment, most visibly personified in the unscrupulous and overweening arrogance of Shaikh Abdun Nabi who had the temerity to hit the adolescent emperor with a stick for something as innocuous as wearing saffron during the basant festival.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Beyond the tyranny of ‘performed’ gender

Nabina Das is a Hyderabad-based poet who teaches creative writing.

Poets young and old from the North-East have, for a while now, been talking about gender fluidity and being trapped by pre-assigned roles

In her book Politics of the Female Body (2006), Ketu Katrak writes about the typically patriarchal claim that women are the “guardians of tradition”. Katrak says claims like these are aimed at controlling female sexuality and fertility. There’s a perception that Northeast India is more gender-sensitive than the rest of the country. While one may easily debate this, there certainly are poets and writers from the North-East who challenge stereotypes by writing about the female body — its wants and wantonness, its contextualisation as well as abstract valence, its position vis-à-vis the dominant gender, and its graceful and seamless transition to the un-gendered space.

Naga poet Monalisa Changkija’s long years in journalism and activism manifest in her direct, no-nonsense lines. She is the sole editor, publisher and proprietor of the newspaper Nagaland Page. There were violent protests in Nagaland recently against reservation of seats for women in the legislative assembly — even after the Supreme Court directed the State government to implement the decision. In the coverage of this and other urgent issues, Changkija’s voice has been unflinching. During a recent interview at Indian Cultural Forum, she said: “In Naga society, women are always expected to play the subservient role and inevitably women do so. The patriarchal ethos are dominant and embedded in women’s psyches. It is sad that ‘keeping the peace’ within the home and the tribe becomes more important and imperative than gender justice.”

 

 


Leave a comment

English translation of Muhsin Al-Ramli’s novel exposes the horrors of war

By Ben East

It begins with a beheading. Then another, and another, until nine severed heads are found in a sleepy Iraqi village. It’s a shockingly vivid introduction to the ­violent, ­chaotic world of Muhsin Al-Ramli’s The President’s ­Garden.

Asking where the Iraqi novelist got his inspiration seems an innocent enough question. Nothing prepares you for the answer.

“On the third day of Ramadan in 2006, I received news of the slaughter of nine of my relatives who were fasting,” Al-Ramli says. “My village found their heads in banana crates, along with their ID cards, on the side of the main road near my ­family’s house.

“That news shocked and terrified me. I wept. I had childhood memories of playing with the owners of these heads.”
Understandably, Al-Ramli had no idea what to do, other than to take refuge in something he knew: writing. Six years later, The President’s Gardens was published in Arabic, framing the stories of friends Abdullah, Tariq and Ibrahim around both their personal tragedy and the tragedy of Iraq in the years ­between the war with Iran and the aftermath of the American invasion.

It was longlisted for the 2013 International Prize for ­Arabic Fiction, and this week an ­English translation, by Luke Leafgren, is finally published. It is a stunning achievement. Read more

Source: The National


Leave a comment

Chetan Bhagat lacks originality? ‘One Indian Girl’ allegedly plagiarized

ChetanControversies and legal notices continue to dog best-selling author Chetan Bhagat. This time, Bhagat’s One Indian Girl, seems to be in legal trouble just six months after its release.
Anvita Bajpai, a Bengaluru-based author sued the writer, claiming that the ‘characters, places and emotional flow’ of his book had been lifted from one of her stories ‘Drawing Parallels’ from the book ‘Life, Odds & Ends’.
“I handed a copy of my book to Chetan Bhagat at the Bangalore Literature Festival in 2014 for feedback, she alleged.
Bajpai handed Bhagat a legal notice on February 22 this year, asking him to withdraw the book from stores and cough up Rs 5 lakh as damages. Bhagat responded a month later denying all allegations, which prompted Bajpai to approach a civil court in Bengaluru. Read more


Leave a comment

The European Union and LASALLE College of the Arts launch inaugural European Union Writers Festival

As the European Union marks 60 years, the European Union Delegation to Singapore deepens its cultural connections with Singapore. On May 25-26, together with LASALLE College of the Arts, the EU launches its inaugural European Union Writers Festival (EUWF).

With EUWF, the EU Delegation to Singapore and LASALLE College of the Arts join their efforts to create a platform showcasing European authors based in Singapore. Through an opening event and a full-day of panel discussions on May 26, this festival will use literature and words to add to the rich Singapore-Europe dialogue and deepen long-established European connections in the city-state.

Says Dr Michael Pulch, European Union Ambassador to Singapore: “We celebrate literature with our inaugural European Union Writers Festival.”

Discussions to launch this festival started nine months ago and Dr Pulch adds the “aim is to create a platform for European writers and publishers based in Singapore to discuss their work and the many ideas that inspire writing in many forms.”

“We are delighted to partner with LASALLE College of the Arts. As we mark 60 years of the European Union and 40 years of EU-ASEAN ties, this collaboration strengthens our long- established connections with the city-state. It adds to the rich artistic and cultural dialogue between Europe and Singapore,” says Dr Pulch.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Book Review: Horizon Afar by Jayanthi Sankar

By Lakshmi Menon

horizon-afar-wth-bleed-1

Horizon Afar is a collection of short stories by Jayanthi Sankar, translated from their original Tamil by P Muralidharan and published by Kitaab International. While it falls neatly into the rapidly growing, ever-fertile genre of diasporic literature, this collection is interesting in the myriad glimpses that it accords us of the Tamil diaspora in Singapore.

The experiences of Tamil immigrants in a multicultural country like Singapore are outlined by the author, herself a member of that very community – this is belied by the intimacy with which she writes about them. “Won’t she crawl anymore?” a despairing father asks of his wife, on learning that his child whose early years he has missed on account of working abroad, has now learned to walk on her own. The average reader can easily feel the wistful, quiet sadness in his question, and a reader who is familiar with the immigrant experience knows the truth behind the emotion, of a parent who has missed their child growing up.

Continue reading