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Portrayals of British India by Kipling, Forster, and their contemporaries have received considerable attention by literary critics. Yet there has been surprisingly little commentary about British novels of India since Indian independence in 1947. This period of transition is perhaps the most dramatic in the history of modern India, and novels written during this time, such as Paul Scott’s Jewel in the Crown and Ruth Jhabvala’s Heat and Dust, have attracted a great deal of popular attention. This newly available digital edition of David Rubin’s classic work on Indian literature highlights some of the most important figures in the nation’s post-colonial history with an eye for detail and critical insights that few men could accomplish.
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Although the tradition of serious literature in Nepal extends back several centuries, most of Nepal’s major literary works have been written since World War I. This comparatively young literature reached full maturity in the work of Laxmiprasad Devkota (1909—1959), who wrote in all the principal genres of prose and verse, treating contemporary issues, themes from Sanskrit epic and drama, and subjects from Greek mythology including Prometheus and Circe. At the time of his death, Devkota left behind an immense body of work, much of it unpublished, some of it lost, and some apparently plagiarized by other poets. Untangling many of the ambiguities surrounding the composition of Devkota’s poetry, Nepali Visions, Nepali Dreams presents an extended essay on the poet’s life and career, along with translations of forty-five poems ranging from short lyrics to lengthy philosophical and satiric works. David Rubin has drawn upon published works currently in print, privately published works , and poems existing solely in the pages of elusive Nepali literary journals to present the first collection in English of Devkota’s complex, vigorous poetry.
All proceeds from the sale of Nepali Visions, Nepali Dreams will be donated to Nepal Youth Foundation, a nonprofit organization that offers hope and opportunity to Nepal’s most impoverished children by providing them what is every child’s birthright: vital healthcare, education and a safe environment.
The World of Premchand: Selected Short Stories
Premchand is the greatest figure in twentieth century Hindi literature and some of his finest work is to be found in his short stories. Filled with compassion and indignation, the stories inside this volume offer an incomparable panorama of North Indian life in the early twentieth century, along with a devastating satire on the cruelty and pride of the privileged class. Born Dhanpat Rai in 1880 in Lamhi, a small village near Varanasi, Premchand’s first collection was published in 1908; in 1918 he changed his pen name to Premchand upon the publication of his first major novel, Sevasadan. Premchand is still popular throughout the Hindi and Urdu speaking world and has been translated into many languages. David Rubin is considered one of his top translators. As Rubin writes in his introduction, “The inhumanity of caste hierarchies, the struggle for India’s independence, and the wretched plight of women are some of the problems that arouse his indignation most frequently.” This volume was selected for the Asian fiction series of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Upcoming New Editions of David Rubin’s Translations
A Season on the Earth: Selected Poems of Nirala (translator)
The Return of Sarasvati: Four Hindi Poets
Widows, Wives and Other Heroines: Twelve Stories by Premchand (translator)