Though India has a rich history of literature, there has been a lot more recognition in the last few years. With awards, literary festivals, new authors and new avenues being explored, the Indian literary scene in 2015 looks intriguing. Read on to learn more.
1. Literary awards
Though there are many international literary awards that Indian authors have been able to win, India too has a number of awards for national authors. The most prestigious award in India is the Jnanpith Award. Started in 1961, the award focuses on authors who write in the regional languages. Last year, the award went to Marathi writer, Balchandra Nemade. Another prestigious award is the Sahitya Akademi Award, which gives awards to Indian authors writing in major Indian languages, including English. A recently established award is The Hindu Literary Prize, which honors Indian fiction writers. 2015 is a big year with many interesting books coming out in different languages, so the competition for the awards is bound to be intense.
2. Regional languages
One problem in India is that so many of us have no access to the rich body of work being produced in the various languages spoken in the country. Very few books are translated into other languages, which restricts the scope of their readership. To address this issue, the Murty Classical Library of India was launched during the Jaipur Literature Festival. Classics from Bengali, Tamil, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu, Marathi, Kannada and other regional languages will be translated to English and made available to a global audience.
3. Downside to being an Indian author
Anyone who is following the regional literary scene cannot have missed the Perumal Murugan harassment case. Writing in his book One Part Woman, about a married woman who tries to get pregnant during a festival, he faced brickbats from the right wing groups, and his books were burnt. In response to this harassment, Mr. Perumal has decided to lay down his pen in open protest. Authors like Romila Thapar, Ashok Vajpeyi and others have spoken out in protest against this treatment. Hopefully, 2015 will see a resolution of this issue and a more tolerant and free approach towards how authors who choose to write on controversial topics are treated.
4. Book fairs
For book lovers, there is nothing lovelier than the smell of books. There are many who love to nose around in book shops and bookstalls selling old books, but another alternative are book fairs. The New Delhi World Book Fair in February 2015 has been just one of the best book fairs. Held in Pragati Maidan, this yearly fair draws book lovers from all over the city and nearby cities. This year, the guest of honor country was Singapore and South Korea was the focus country. There are other similar book fairs held in other parts of the country, and are just as popular. These include Ranchi Book Fair, Kolkata Book Fair, and Chennai Book Fair.
5. English language books
This is probably not everyone’s cup of tea, but just imagine what A. Raja could have to say in his defense in his book In My Defence. You will have to be at least a little bit curious! Another interesting book is The Heat and Dust Project: The Pilot by Devapriya Roy and Saurav Jha, two stalwarts who took on the challenge of living on less than Rs. 500 a day. Sudeshna Guha’s A History of India Through Objects is bound to be an interesting journey over the centuries as well as an introduction to the historical objects of India. Overall, this year looks quite interesting from a literary perspective.
Image credit: Pete Birkinshaw on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]