Tag Archives: Awards

Want to win USD 1000 for a short story ?

IMG_0758Here is a contest that gives you plenty of time to write the best short story possible!

The story can be upto 5000 words.

Prize: US$1000 Read more

Are the awards for translation helping it gain ground at all?

(From The Hindu. Link to the complete article given below)

If you are reading, teaching or preparing a translation of an Indian work into English, this article is for you and calls for your support. Two weeks ago, Shahnaz Habib’s translation of Jasmine Days won ₹25 lakh for its author, Benyamin. The JCB Prize for Literature for the first time saw a translation overtaking original writing in English, but it fetched Habib only ₹5 lakh. How about a more equitable breakup of this golden purse? Can’t the keepers of the coffers spare a coin for Habib’s publisher as well who stopped the juggernauts of publishing?

Let me share two stories.

Second-class status

Last month, when a distinguished Tamil writer visited a college to watch a play translated from Bengali, he was recognised only by the three people who had invited him. Nor, when it was whispered across the hall, did his name evoke any response.

For the English reading population, a genius like our visitor exists in an occult literary ecosystem. It isn’t that they are insensitive to this writer’s work but that they have very little access to it. We know why. Every year millions of Indians clear their final school exams equipped to function only in English. Educated about many things, they are nevertheless mother-tongue illiterates.

Read more at The Hindu link here

What we are writing now

I remember the time the first Penguin India books came out. I stood in Mumbai’s now-defunct Strand Book Stall, reading from Nisha Da Cunha’s beautiful stories, Old Cypress and then saw Padma Hejmadi’s Birthday Deathday. Those were the days when I did not buy a book unless I had already read it and knew that it would be something I would want to own for the rest of my life, a belief that only a young man can have. But I promised myself, as someone who dreamed of having a book out, as someone who dreamed of being an Indian writer in English, that I would try and buy as many Indian authors as I could.

I already had a stack of strange-looking Jaico paperbacks: Nayantara Sahgal and Kamala Das and Raja Rao but those were second-hand books, bought on the streets. Now I would contribute to my biraadari, I would help my qaum, even if they didn’t know I was one of them, by buying their books.

That was 1985. It’s been a long time and much ink has flowed and I have given up even trying to keep in touch. We’re a huge bunch and there’s been two Booker Prizes, Arundhati Roy’s for The God of Small Things and Arvind Adiga’s for The White Tiger. We’re now getting close to what might be called a mature market: we don’t just have literary fiction, the epics and the classics in translation; we have genres: there’s chick lit and crime fiction and romances written by men and thrillers. We have 65 literary festivals across the country; I was told that one just ended in Amritsar. Mumbai has three or maybe five, I don’t know. Universities are organising their own. There are hierarchies now: Jaipur at the top and Kozhikode coming in second with the additional cachet of moral superiority.

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‘Our grandchildren refuse to read in their mother tongue’

Dibyajyoti Sarma in conversation with renowned Bengali author Nabaneeta Dev Sen for Sakal Times.

Renowned Bengali author Nabaneeta Dev Sen and illustrator Proiti Roy were the winners of the second edition of the Big Little Book Awards 2017. Instituted by Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts, the awards were announced on the closing day of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai Lit Fest last Sunday.

A first-of-its-kind in India, the Big Little Book Awards seek to honour authors and illustrators who have contributed to the world of children’s literature. For authors, the focus is on one Indian language every year. The first edition of the awards focused on Marathi. This year, nominations were invited for authors writing for children in Bengali. The illustrators’ entries however were not limited to any language.

This year’s winner for children’s literature in Bengali, Nabaneeta Dev Sen has been writing for children since 1979. A feminist author, she has also written widely for adults spanning across several genres — novels, travelogues, short stories and plays.
Sakal Times spoke to Nabaneeta Dev Sen on the eve of her winning the award. Edited excerpts from the interview.

Bengali has a long history of children’s literature. How has it evolved?
Bengali children’s literature started with Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar in the 19th century with tiny stories for children in his first Bengali wordbook for children, Varna Parichaya. Bangla children’s literature started with strong roots in Bengal. Upendrakishore Ray wrote Bangla children’s fables that we grew up on and my granddaughter also knows, although she does not read Bangla. Sayajit Ray, Upendrakishore’s grandson made his first classic children’s film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne based on his grandfather’s short story.

Our children’s literature developed on its own with local fables, fairy tales, funny stories, and ghost tales, etc from the villages. And with endless tales from Sanskrit classics, Bengali children grew up on our own literary imagination for a long time, but soon the adventure stories and detective stories began to appear, whose basic idea was Western, but the story materials hundred per cent Bangla. Our generation knew Western stories along with the Bangla ones not only because there were many English medium schools in the cities, but also because the standard of teaching English was high in the Bengali medium schools as well.

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In China, literary awards face an anti-corruption drive

Recent international literary awards have shown the world a different side of China.

In 2012, Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for literature and in August 2015 Liu Cixin won theHugo Award for his science novel The Three-Body Problem.

The latter has become so popular that the venue for his speech “The Future of ChinaThrough Chinese Science Fiction” at the University of Sydney on Nov 3 has had to be movedto a larger auditorium.

However, in China, literary awards have become the subject of an anti-corruption drive. Read more

3 librarians honoured in Singapore

R Ramachandran3 Singaporean librarians honoured for contributions to profession

The Library Association of Singapore (LAS) has honoured three of its own for their contributions to the library profession. The top award went to R Ramachandran (left in the picture) , executive director of the National Book Development Council of Singapore. He received the LAS Lifetime Contribution Award from President Tony Tan at a ceremony on Sunday.

Mr Ramachandran was recognised for his contributions to the development of the library profession over the past four decades. The LAS Professional Service Award went to Singapore Press Holdings’ vice president of information and resources Idris Rashid Khan Surattee. The LAS Outstanding Newcomer Award was given to Mr V Somasundram, assistant librarian at Nanyang Technological University.

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