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An Introduction to Nepali Literature in 5 Books

Since its political liberation in the 1990s, Nepali literature has flourished with all of the diversity and vibrancy of the nation. Although many native tales remain oral legends, some of the most enduring and canonical texts have recently been translated into English. We now have access to vivid stories straight from the birthplace of Buddha.

 

Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay

Upadhyay, born and raised in Kathmandu, is the first Nepali author to write in English and be published in the West. His writing offers an unprecedented insight into the domesticity of Nepali life. This collection of nine short stories, published in 2001, is a triumph for its presentation of love and family in a city where there are more gods than people and more temples than homes. His writing presents the multi-faceted face of family lives where desire and spirituality, earthly and religious forces conflict and define identity. The opening story, The Good Shopkeeper, explores the strains of society on the male identity in an entertaining, heartfelt and thought-provoking tale. The Limping Bride is another equally beautiful piece, challenging social norms with an honesty that pierces prejudice. Arresting God in Kathmandu is a bold entry for Nepalese fiction in Western literary spheres, marking Upadhyay as a star in Asian literature.

Annapurna Poems by Yuyutsu Sharma

Yuyutsu Sharma’s work is anything but expected. Since being featured in the tribute anthology, Dance the Guns to Silence: 100 Poems for Ken Saro-Wiwa, in which his poem Content Metamorphosis addresses issues of commercialization, commodification, and consumerism in modern society, Sharma achieved something of an international status. His collection, Annapurna Poems, contains some of his greatest work. Unafraid to merge the glittering glory of Nepal with the gritty reality of its flecked political history, Sharma’s poetry is complex and engaging. Sharma eloquently transports the reader into the hubbub of Nepali life to manipulate the senses, and often to wrench at the heartstrings.

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Nepali literature in India: Descriptions of some works competing for the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award

By Mahendra P Lama

In 1992, Nepali was recognised as the 19th official Indian language and included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India. It has been recognised as one of the modern languages of India by the Sahitya Akademi, or Academy of Letters, of the Indian government since 1975; and the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award has been bestowed on the best literary works of Indian Nepali writers along with other Indian languages every year.

The process for picking the best literary work is well laid down. First, a comprehensive ground list of published works is prepared. Next, five to eight books are identified as potential competitors. Finally, three jury members sit, deliberate and decide the best work. Among the nine books that competed for the award in 2015, Gita Upadhyay’s Janmabhumi Mero Swadesh; Gupta Pradhan’s Samaika  Prativimbaharu; Kalusingh Ranapaheli’s Prashna Chinha; Sudha M Rai’s Bhumigeet; Rajendra Bhandari’s Shabdaharuko Punarbas and Basant Kumar Rai’s Kehi Kathaharu are worthy of mention.

Indianness of Indian Gorkhas

The entire plot of Gita Upadhyay’s novel is woven around the mobilisation of village folks in and around Tezpur, Assam against the highhandedness of the British Indian government and their joining the freedom struggle led by Mahatma Gandhi. Villagers living in the vicinity of Kaziranga forest are thrown out and their homes burnt as the area was declared a reserved forest. An Indian Gorkha named Chabilal Upadhyay leads the protests. The British tried to divide communities and geographies at the lowest possible level. Read more

Source: The Kathmandu Post 

 


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Nepal Academy in bid to globalise Nepali literature

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. Continue reading


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Nepal: Literature in a cup

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.

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Poetry fiesta debates native images in Nepali poetry

Nepali poets and critics on Saturday held a comprehensive discussion on presence of native identities, cultures and traditions in Nepali poetry.

Most speakers of the IACER Poetry Fiesta, organised by IACER, a Pokhara University-affiliated college, in the Capital, opined that Nepali poetry needs to use and promote native knowledge and traditions in order to lead it to the global literary arena.

Critic and poet Mahesh Paudyal presented a paper arguing that Nepali literature cannot live long with used images from the West. “Our poetry henceforth should turn toward ourselves and articulate the long-lived knowledge to the world,” he said. 

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