The Wordsmiths (Five of The Most Exciting Writers of Our Times)

The Wordsmiths (Five of The Most Exciting Writers of Our Times)

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Item Code: NAG705
Author: Meenakshi sharma
Publisher: Katha
Language: English
Edition: 1996
ISBN: 8185586489
Pages: 240
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
Weight 290 gm
About The Book

Here are five scintillating interviews that capture the magic and the mystery of the world of the Contemporary Indian Writer.

U R Ananatha Murthy
Bhupen Khakahar
Mahasveta Devi
Krishna Sobti
M T Vasudevan Nair

...offer insights into the art and craft of writing. Share their hopes and fears, and reveal that unique creative urge which makes their work what it is. Also featured in this volume, the first in the series, is an alluring selection from their writing - fiction and nonfiction.
Essential reading for the browser and the Bookworm!


Envy is a terrible feeling. Only, you can't envy what you have, says a sane voice inside me. I know I need not and I know Indian writers are ours to hold and cherish. But much of the genius of our country lies in regional literatures and, unable to read more than one or two of these languages or enjoy in the original the specialness of art and craft that each one of these languages fosters, it is difficult to step outside our self-deprecation and see our stories for what they are. When I manage to do this I - to take off from Anna Akhmatova - finally know what envy really is! Translations are but poor cousins that strive, often times with a lack of faith in itself and its creations, to bring the best from this katha-khazana to readers who can't read the stories in their original language. And, even in reading translations, we feel the pride and pleasure of coming home to good fiction.

The genesis of this book lies in my deep-felt longing to know more about our writers and their writings, and the nonavailability of a book that satisfied this desire. I sincerely thank the five writers who are featured in this first volume of Wordsmiths, for giving Katha so much of themselves. Being self-analytical, going over tread ground, is difficult for all, and especially so for creative minds. We know this and we feel honoured to have what we have from these five wordsmiths.

The best of Indian writers have always empathized with men and women from nonliterate backgrounds, they who, unfortunately, still form a very large portion of our population: These people have a realization of ground realities that their counterparts from more affluent families often don't. But being nonliterate and having been given a colossal lack of confidence in their selves and in their thoughts, they have, till recently, discounted themselves, their idioms, thoughts, language. URA and MT work, in one sense, like "insiders" though they do not come from non-literate families; so too does Bhupen Khakhar, in his own inimitable way. And women, though we have been writing for many centuries now, have let ourselves believe that we face a double handicap - being hesitant users of the written word and also being ignorant of the "real" world that writers write about. This is the disquietude that writers like Krishna Sobti and Mahasveta Devi put to rest, with stories that stand shoulder to shoulder with the best that men have written. Here, in their own words, we understand these writers and what drives them, more clearly.

Katha is a registered nonprofit organization whose objectives are twofold. To bring to a wider readership the best of Indian literature - both for the common reader and for neo-Iiterate people - and through translations from one language to another, including English. The second objective is to develop suitable teaching/learning materials for children and women who are just starting out on the road to literacy, using the story for effective communication.

The making of T/L materials has, till now, focussed more on children, basically working children, neo-Iiterates. But I find that many of us who have had our formal education in English are neo-Iiterate when it comes to Indian literature. In 1995, Katha brought out the first of the Classics, Masti Venkatesa Iyengar, a well-researched book on that "grand old man" of Kannada literature. This was specifically seen for possible use in academia. This is a project we are proud of. Wordsmiths, we hope, will offer the same interest and enriching experience for readers and students alike.

We also hope that this and the other books of Katha Vilasam, the story research and resource centre of Katha, will add to efforts already on for a more sustained dialogue between the various languages that facilitates a deeper understanding of ourselves as Indians.


U R Ananatha Murthy11
Bhupen Khakhar63
Krishna Sobti99
Mahasveta Sevi159
M T Vasudevan Nair197
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