Monday, May 3, 2010

Never too late

In spite of the sweltering heat in Kolkata, Sankar sounds cheerful on the phone. He has a good reason to be: the 77-year-old Bengali writer’s renowned novel Chowringhee has been short-listed for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, an award that celebrates contemporary fiction in translation in the UK. The prize has been established by The Independent.

“I can’t say that I am not delighted. All my life my middle-class Bengali arrogance led me to believe that the world should come to me and not vice versa. But it’s better late than never,” he says. Although Chowringhee was originally published in Bengali in the 1960s, last year Atlantic Books published in the UK the translation by Arunava Sinha. “After Rabindranath Tagore, there has been little or no global recognition for Bengali literature,” says Sankar. He, however, will not travel to London for the prize ceremony. “I don’t want to be presumptuous,” he chuckles.

Full report here Indian Express

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