Nepal Academy, established for the promotion of Nepali language, literature, culture and arts, philosophy and social sciences of Nepal, is currently busy in globalising the Nepali literature.

The national institution established in 1957 has begun researches for the development of various languages, literature and culture.

In its bid to globalise the Nepali literature and art, it is effortful to establish close ties and work in collaboration with other literary and art organisations of India, China and other South Asian countries.

The ASEAN and Asian Conference on Literature and Culture started in Phuket, Thailand, from April 22. Representing Nepal in the conference are poets Keshab Sigdel and Prakash Subedi. The conference is organised by the Department of Cultural Promotion, the Ministry of Culture (Thailand), with support from the Phuket Municipal Office and Phuket Rajabhat University. The convention was inaugurated by Vira Rojpojchanarat, the Thai minister of culture.

Elen Turner reviews Joe Niemczura’s The Sacrament of the Goddess (Austin: Plain View Press, 2014. 263 pp.) and Martin David Hughes’ Jaya Nepal! (Asheville: Simi Books, 2014. 335 pp.)

sacramentNepal is a country about which there is an extremely warped image in the minds of outsiders. The stereotypes do not need repeating, because anyone who has not been to Nepal but has given the country even a cursory thought, knows what they are. There is also very little literature available outside of South Asia that engages with the country in any meaningful way—Canadian-Nepali Manjushree Thapa’s fiction and non-fiction being notable exceptions. Therefore, it is refreshing and promising when non-Nepalis with an extensive knowledge of the country turn to literature to record their experiences.

Joe Niemczura’s The Sacrament of the Goddess and Martin David Hughes’ Jaya Nepal! are two fictionalized accounts of American aid workers’ experiences in Nepal, published by small North American presses. They both have at their heart naïve young men with the best of intentions, who find love and friendship in Nepal. Both Niemczura’s protagonist Matt and Hughes’ protagonist Ben end up working in Nepali hospitals—Matt in the small town of Beni (the site of a large battle between Maoists and the Nepali army in 2004) in the Annapurna region, and Ben in an improbably-named settlement on the outskirts of Kathmandu, Pepsicola Townplanning. Both men have experienced love and heartbreak, the underlying reason for their being in Nepal.

The Nepal Literature Festival has come a long way from its humble beginnings, thanks to its organisers continuing to believe in their dream: The Kathmandu Post

In 2007, the Fine Print Book Club set up a small office in Baluwatar, where they conducted monthly interactive sessions for people who were into reading. Occasional interactions would be held on different subjects and book-lovers came together in small groups to talk about their book fetishes.

For Ajit Baral and Niraj Bhari, the brains behind the reading club, the goal lay farther than just running a book club. As publishers, they had one objective: to promote reading culture in Nepal.

In this interview with Kitaab’s fiction editor Oindrila Mukherjee, Samrat Upadhyay, a fiction writer of Nepali origin, discusses his journey in the world of fiction.

SamratupadhyayHis first book, the short story collection Arresting God in Kathmandu (Houghton Mifflin, 2001) has been translated into French and Greek and was the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award as well as a pick for the 2001 Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers Program. Upadhyay’s stories have been read live on National Public Radio and published widely as well as in SCRIBNER’S BEST OF THE WRITING WORKSHOPS and BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1999. Upadhyay’s novel The Guru of Love (Houghton Mifflin, 2003) was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year 2003, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2003, and a BookSense 76 collection. The novel was also a finalist for the 2004 Kiriyama Prize, and has been translated into several European languages. Upadhyay’s story collection, The Royal Ghosts (Houghton Mifflin, 2006), won the 2007 Asian American Literary Award, the Society of Midland Authors Book Award, and was declared a Best of Fiction in 2006 by the Washington Post. The book was also a finalist for the Frank O’Connor Int’l Short Story Award from Ireland and for the Ohioana Book Award.

His second novel Buddha’s Orphans (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010) has been called a novel of “ambition and heft” by The New York Times and “beautifully told” by Publishers Weekly, which gave it a starred review. The novel has been translated into German and Czech. It was also longlisted for the DSC Prize in India. The City Son, Upadhyay’s fifth book and third novel, was published last month by Soho Press.

He is the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University.

Are you really the first Nepali writer writing in English to be published in the West as Wikipedia says? And if so, why? What was happening in NEW before you?

In Nepal, and especially Kathmandu, coffeehouses are too expensive to foster intellectual creativity: Kantipur.com

Today’s coffeehouses in Nepal are nothing like the ones of old in England, or even the old teahouses of Kathmandu that were literary hotspots. They are commercial, expensive and don’t foster an intellectual spirit.