Monday, April 16, 2007

Katha Prize Stories: Volume 5

A compelling read, this volume showcases the breath taking potential of the Indian short story and affirms that good writing transcends all barriers, linguistic and thematic. Fifteen stories that explore a stunning range of themes, settings and literary styles. Twelve Indian languages feature in this volume. The languages are Asomiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.




India Today

Prize Catch … the best of India Translated.

"World Class"

In its search for excellence from a pan-Indian selection of contemporary fiction, Katha without doubt, comes out a winner. It has been so ever since its first volume of translated Indian fiction in 1990. Five years down the line, things get only better.

“We had wanted the selection to be more eclectic than in the previous years,” says editor Geeta Dharmarajan in her introduction. She seems to have succeeded. Prize Stories Volume 5, is like a brilliant and stunning patchwork quilt, every piece standing out and holding its own because of its colour, its texture, its unique design. The collection offers a very vast sweep – of languages, styles, content, fertility, arranged marriage, being an Indian abroad, a curious peep into the future and a nostalgic look at the past, are just some of the pegs around which the authors spin out their tales so attractively soaked in the idiom of their land, their province.

But there’s nothing provincial about them. Quintessentially homespun, each translated short story emerges as a highly polished and rounded work of fiction, which can easily hold its own anywhere. These are truly the “world class stories” the editors had hoped for. In a selection so fine it’s difficult to pick out those stories that are more excellent then others. But any reader immediately singles out the favourites. Three stories that will continue to haunt me are “Unclaimed” (translated from Kannada), “Wing” (translated from Marathi) and “The Pigman” (translated from Malayalam). “Unclaimed,” taking off from the modest shop of a picture framer, soars high into realms of empathy and compassion. The here-and-now needs of a slum dweller make lofty sentiment seem absurd. “Wings,” the story of a “choiceless” arranged marriage in the family is seen through the eyes of a little girl, Meenu. The trauma of such a marriage impacts even the little Meenu who despite her innocence, can ultimately picture herself as a helpless victim of custom. This is one of the longer works in this volume and perhaps because of this the characters appear a little more finely honed. Delving into the psyche of a disturbed mind, is the fascinating story, “The Pigman,” put together through the unusual format of pages from a diary. The narrative is extremely lucid and in a way, is almost frightening in its clarity.

All three stories are remarkable in their sensitivity and in their lack of embellishment. The style is always straight and uncluttered even if the content is often complex and the prose becomes all the more energetic because of this simplicity of style. The sheer pleasure derived from these Prize Stories says it all for the vibrancy and vigour of India in language fiction.

For those of us who can speak just one or two of our languages, Katha is a godsend. Translators of Indian stories must have just the right, light touch to be able to change the language and yet not lose the culture. The editor echoes a fairly common sentiment when she says, “English, we are told is a ‘cold’ language, incapable of capturing the nuances and emotions of an Indian story.” In the hands of the Katha translators, it’s not so. It is to their credit that none of the stories here seem to have lost any of the vitality, warmth or magic of the original.

– Gouri Salvi
The Authors

Ajit Thakor
Ambai
U R Anantha Murthy
Asha Bage
Diptiranjan Pattanaik
Harekrishna Deka
Jayant Kaikini
Prasenjit Ranjan Gupta
N Prabhakaran
Shirish Dhoble
T Sreevalli Radhika
Syed Muhammad Ashraf
Tarapada Ray
Thomas Joseph
Usha K R



The Translators

Keerti Ramachandra
Anupama Prabhala Kapse
Aruna Bhowmick
Charusheela Sohoni
Chitta Ranjan Das
D N Bezboruah
Gauri Deshpande
C T Indra
Narayan Hegde
Paul Zacharia
Saleem Kidwai
Upendra Nanavati
Vanajam Ravindran


The Nominating Editors & Journals

Assamese: Indira Goswami (Gariyoshi)
Bangla: Hiranmay Karlekar (Sharadiya Ananda Bazar Patrika)
English: Gurcharan Das
Gujarati: Upendra Nanavati (Gadyaparva)
Hindi: Ashok Vajpeyi (Samaas)
Kannada: H Y Sharada Prasad (Udayavani, Sudha)
Malayalam: K Satchidanandan (India Today)
Marathi: Arvind Dixit (Sadhana)
Oriya: Jiwan Pani (Jhunkara)
Tamil: Vijayalakshmi Quereshi (Unnatham)
Telugu: Madhurantakam Rajaram (Andhra Prabha Sacithra Vara Patrika)
Urdu: Sadiq-ur-Rahman Kidwai (Daar Se Bichhre)

Edited by
Geeta Dharmarajan
Meenakshi Sharma
Publishers: Katha
Cover Design: Taposhi Ghoshal
Colours: Arvinder Chawla
Logo Design: Crowquill
Category: Katha Prize Stories
Statistics: 5.5" x 8" 224 pages
ISBN 81-85586-35-7 [PB]
Price: Rs 200 [India and the subcontinent only]

Friday, April 13, 2007

Katha Prize Stories: Volume 4

Seventeen stories from Asomiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Konkani, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu, that recreate the fascinating fabric that is India, urban and rural. Woven into them is a range of emotions – from the plutonic to the oedipal, the humorous to the poignant, the simple to the intricate.

This collection reiterates that the KPS volumes have indeed become “an anxiously awaited yearly event, watched alike by discerning readers in India and abroad as well as by writers, translators and literary journals.”

India Today

Katha is literally a literary institution. It’s a non-profit making society devoted to “enhancing the pleasures of reading.” Every year it publishes in English a collection of short stories originally written in various Indian languages. This year, women and children come first, stories with adult males as the central characters are in a minority … This collection paints striking portraits of male-female relationships …

Translation is the essence of national integration. The discovery of the wealth of Indian creative writing through translation is an inspiration. Katha is part of this discovery.

– Gillian Wright
The Economic Times
(December 25, 1994)


To capture the vibrancy of one language into another requires monk-like devotion. To prepare and present each year, in time, a collection of short stories written in regional languages, translated into English, must bring the zeal closer to frenzy, but nothing deters the Katha team from keeping up to its standards.

Earlier their goal was to provide good, creative English translations of the regional short stories selected by them. Now, the editor argues, the language should be “not ‘bad,’ yet able to let us be ourselves without having to hide our deepest sentiments and emotions behind the restrained fa├žade of ‘proper’ English.” In other words, a bhasha like any other Indian language, capable describing all Indian experiences …

Of the seventeen stories put forward this year, fifteen have been selected from regional languages, while two – “The Weight” and “Zero Sum Game” – were originally written in English. “Zero Sum Game” by Bibhas Sen is pure, unalloyed fun in lucid English. Deriving his subject from something as unliterary as the GATT treaty, the writer has produced a beautiful piece of humorous literature … The other fifteen stories are social in context …

The stories are all exquisitely written and translated pieces, but the one that stands apart for its skilful portrayal of inner conflicts, nodal swirls, artistic competence and, of course, its almost flawless translation is “The Bed.” It doesn’t merely make you think, it shakes up your entire thinking process so that even much later, the images keep coming back to your mind.
Katha undoubtedly provides some of the best Indian short stories written in 1993.

– Sharad Chandra
The Book Review

Katha Prize Stories Volumes 3 and 4

In these days of slipping and sliding values and short-term methods one can only applaud Katha for choosing to walk the “Euclid’s line” in favour of rigorousness and eclecticism …

Awards are presented to the nominators, the authors of the stories, the translators and the editors of the journals where the stories first appeared. The last named category (instituted since 1993) is unusual and remarkable since it highlights the contribution of fiction editors to encourage excellence in fiction. Comprehensive notes accompany each volume representing one knows not how many hours of labour. This is where the Foundation justifies its claim to being a “research” organisation …

Volumes 3 and 4 … are products of the “amrita-manthans” of 91-92 and 93-94. In the first volume eleven Indian languages are represented. The second contains thirteeen stories, the two new entrants being Konkani and Oriya. Especially heart warming is the surfacing of Konkani creativity, a language of a small coastal region ambivalent about its script not very long ago …

In treating the stories of the volume thematically three concerns emerge. The first brings to the fore the uniqueness of the experience of the people of different regions of India …
The second trend …[appears to be] the creative use of Indian archetypes in the modern context …

The two volumes together affirm that on the showing of three years, ’91 to ’94, Indian fiction is thriving … Volume 4 has improved on the quality of production as well. In this as well as other areas, the series of Katha Prize Stories attains the standard of perfection that Katha Vilasam strives for.

– Kalyani Dutta
The Authors
Bibhas Sen
Gauri Deshpande
Madhurantakam Narendra
Manoj Kumar Goswami
Mithra Venkatraj
Pratibha Ray
Sethu
Swapnamoy Chakraborti
Bolwar Mahamad-Kunhi
Kanji Patel
N S Madhavan
Prakash Narayan Sant
Priyamvad
Surendra Prakash
Thanjai Prakash
Vandana Bist


The Translators
Nivedita Menon
Dhananjay Kapse
Gopa Majumdar
Narendra Nair
C Revathi
Sachidananda Mohanty
H Y Sharada Prasad
Gauri Deshpande
Jayeeta Sharma
C N Ramachandran
Sacheen Pai Raikar
Sarala Jag Mohan
Lakshmi Kannan
Vijaya Ghose

The Nominating Editors & Journals

Hindi: Vijay Mohan Singh (India Today)
Bangla: Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay (Aajkaal)
Kannada: Ramachandra Sharma (Prajavani, Udayavani)
Marathi: Ganesh N Devy (Mauj, Saptahik Sakal)
Telugu: Allam Rajaiah (India Today)
Urdu: Anisur Rahman (Zehn-e-Jadeed)
English: Rukmini Bhaya Nair
Tamil: Gnani (Subhamangala)
Assamese: Pankaj Thakur (Journal Emporium)
Malayalam: K Satchidanandan (Kala Kaumudi, India Today)
Gujarati: Shirish Panchal (Gadyaparva)
Konkani: Chandrakant Keni (Chitrangi)
Oriya: Sachidananda Mohanty (Jhankara)

Edited by: Geeta Dharmarajan


Publishers: Katha
Cover Design: Taposhi Ghoshal
Colours: Arvinder Chawla
Logo Design: Crowquill
Category: Katha Prize Stories
Statistics: 5.5" x 8" 272 pages
ISBN 81-85586-20-9 [PB]
Price: Rs 200 [India and the subcontinent only]

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Katha Prize Stories: Volume 3

KPS 3 celebrates both emerging and established writers – the pioneers and the path-breakers who delve with great sensitivity and perception into the moral and psychological paradoxes of our lives.

With stories from ten regional languages and one from English and writing that ranges from the traditional to the avante-garde KPS 3 makes for memorable reading.

The languages featured are Asomiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.


Indian Express
(March 27, 1994)

The stories in this collection … invariably focus attention on trends in short fiction writing today. This genre seems to be flourishing best in regional literature, a veritable gold mine, and Katha’s pioneering efforts to bring out translated versions of these meet an exigent need. They moisten the barren patch of short fiction in English …

Making a selection from a sea of stories is … a tall order. The spread of stories in the volume cuts across opposing regions and the attention paid to make sensitive translations of the originals comes through in the near flawless end products. Apart from a few editing errors, there is perhaps little here to condone.

– Ranjini Rajagopal

The Economic Times
(April 3, 1994)


A pan-Indian panorama

While going through the book, it is hard not to be impressed not only by the stories it contains, but also by the method of their selection, presentation and production. Put together more or less in the manner of Pushcart Prize Stories, Katha Prize Stories 3 offers to English language readers, some of the best short fiction written in regional Indian languages.

With a truly pan-Indian perspective it makes the writers in the country’s many different regions and languages, aware of each other’s works and of the problems and themes currently engaging their attention. Its selections for the yearly edition being strictly restricted to the stories published during the previous year Katha Prize Stories has established itself in a surprisingly short period of three years as an anxiously awaited yearly event watched alike by discerning readers in India and abroad, as well as by writers, translators, and literary journals. Because of the care for quality it has already become a matter of prestige for writers, translators, nominators, journals to find their names included in that year’s Katha collection.

Katha Prize Stories 3 present’s seventeen stories selected from ten Indian languages, chosen by a panel of writers and scholars distinguished not only for their writing but also for their dedication to the cause of literature. The stories focus on the general global problems of erosion of human values (“The Village,” “Yatra”), utter moral deterioration (“Salaam America”), the clash between old traditions and modern ways and the pain suffered by the old on witnessing what appears to them a false life (“Unnikatha”), artificial sophistication which isolates people from each other (“The Island”), women’s rebellion and liberation (“The Verdict,” “No Regrets”) and the travails of prostitution (“The Manic Nymph”). At least one story takes up the much discussed problem of AIDS, calling it “Another name for the Deluge.” The specific Indian problem of caste discrimination (“Ashoka”) is also represented, as is the internationally prevalent problem of the abuse of child labour (in “Fireworks”).

The stories have all previously been published, discussed, debated and recognized for their artistic excellence and, in most cases, deservedly awarded a literary honour. The featured writers are well known, celebrated names. But “Fireworks” stands out as extremely relevant in the present socio-political condition.

“Fireworks” touches upon the cruel, almost inhuman practice of employing young children in industrial sectors, in hazardous jobs, without even the barest modicum of safety measures. There children are not only robbed of their innocent childhood, of those tender years which for them will never come back, of killing their dreams and longings even before they could take a proper shape, but are denied any security, and the opportunity to acquire education or skills. If literature can serve any purpose in life narratives of this nature should be sufficient to wake up the so-called custodians of law.

Only the translations are new to this collection. These are very well done, on balance. It is the first publication which gives as much recognition to translators and the job of translation as to the original writing and original writers … it is a book to be read and recommended to readers wanting to know contemporary Indian literature.

– Sharad Chandra


The Economic Times
(April 3, 1994)


Translating sights and smells of everyday life

All the seventeen prize winning stories … gracing Volume 3 … carry in them the smells and sights of everyday life, the churning of minds and hearts in a fast changing age where force of gravity is a law best forgotten … Katha seems determined to be an ongoing story of endeavour.

– Chitra Padmanabhan

The Book Review

Katha Prize Stories Volume 3 … is a reading of depth and concentration in the slow unfurling wisdom about the human predicament. In many ways it is a fundamental collection …

Katha Prize Stories Volume 3 is an important collection. There are seventeen stories in the book ... All have a quiet vivacity in dealing with the human predicament. And many of the stories are literary paradigms upon which a whole social milieu rests.


The Authors


Himanshi Shelat
Paul Zacharia
Suma Josson
Maitreyi Pushpa
Bhagirath Misra
Nataraj Huliyar
Indira Goswami
Era Murugan
Bipin Patel
Sara Joseph
Cho Dharman
Prabha Dixit
M Mukundan
Pravin Patkar
Madhurantakam Rajaram
Nayyar Masood
Abraham Verghese


The Translators

Aditya Behl
M Asaduddin
Digish Mehta
Gita Krishnankutty
Indira Goswami
N S Jagannathan
Kasturi Kanthan
Manu Shetty
Meenakshi Sharma
Mitra Mukherjee Parikh
Neerada Suresh
Ranga Rao
Renuka Ramachandran
K M Sherrif
Subhas Gole
A J Thomas


The Nominating Editors & Journals

Assamese: Atulananda Goswami (Sutradhar)
Gujarati: Gulam Mohammed Sheikh (Abhiyan, Gadyaparva)
Bengali: Anil Gharai (Pratikshana)
English: Rukun Advani
Hindi: Ranjendra Yadav (Hans)
Kannada: D R Nagaraj (Lankesh Patrike)
Malayalam: K Satchidanandan (Malayala Manorama, Matrubhumi, Kerala Kaumudi)
Marathi: Vilas Sarang (Mauj)
Tamil: Venkat Swaminathan (Subhamangala)
Telugu: Vakati Panduranga Rao (Andhra Prabha)
Urdu: Shamsul Haq Usmani (Aajkal)


Edited by: Geeta Dharmarajan


Publishers: Katha
Cover Design: Taposhi Ghoshal
Colours: Simrit Brar
Logo Design: Crowquill
Category: Katha Prize Stories
Statistics: 5.5" x 8" 280 pages
ISBN 81-85586-15-2 [PB]
Price: Rs 200 [India and the subcontinent only]

Buy now!

Katha Prize Stories: Volume 2

Stories that explore an exciting range of themes and situations from the fantastic to the quietly realistic, the enigmatic to the expected, the melodramatic to the humorous of the nineteen stories in this collection, two have been originally written in English and the rest are sensitive translations from twelve regional languages.
The translated stories are from Asomiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Oriya, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.




The Hindu
Apparently, the short story is pulsating with life in this land of epics. This heartening fact comes out loud and clear from this captivating collection of stories from various cultural zones of the country …

… the pioneering nature of this serious effort to promote inter-culture dialogue through the English language. For, the Indian ethos and the vigour and intensity of the writers shine through this collection … each writer in his own way opens the reader’s eyes to yet another shape of reality, making him thirst for more.
– Rakesh Sharma
Indian Review of Books

Katha is a welcome venture into Indian fiction. English readers should encourage it by buying copies and looking forward to a steady flow of more Katha issues.

The Hindu
(March 30, 1993)

The first volume of Katha stories was a difficult act to follow, and the first thing that must be said about the present volume is that is not an unworthy successor. The range is quite wide, from the fantastic to the realistic, from the melodramatic to the humorous. Among writers represented are a Jnanpith winner, and two Sahitya Akademi awardees.

– S Krishnan

The authors

M T Vasudevan Nair
Gopinath Mohanty
Shyamal Gangopadhyay
Rukun Advani
Subrabharatimanian
Zamiruddin Ahmad
Vivek Shanbag
Milind Bokil
N S Madhavan
Jayamohan
Atulananda Goswami
Mohan Parmar
Rentala Nageswara Rao
Bhupen Khakhar
Dhruva Shukla
Manju Kak
Asha Bage
Vaidehi
Bimal Kar


The Translators

D Krishna Ayyar and Raji Subramaniam
Sachidananda Mohanty and Sudhakar Marathe
Shampa Banerjee
S K Shanti
M Asaduddin and Manju Kak
Ramachandra Sharma
Asha Damle and Arvind Dixit
Sujatha Devi
M Vijayalakshmi
Anjana Desai
Rani Sarma
Ganesh N Devy
Gillian Wright
Padma Sharma
Enakshi Chatterjee


The Nominating Editors & Journals

Assamese: Pankaj Thakur (Krantik)
Bangla: Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay (Bibhab, Desh Weekly)
English: Nissim Ezekiel
Hindi: Nirmal Verma (Saptahik Hindustan)
Gujarati: Ganesh N Devy (Parishkrit Varta, Gadyaparva)
Kannada: D R Nagaraj (Lankesh Patrike)
Malayalam: Sujatha Devi (India Today, Matrubhoomi Weekly)
Marathi: Vijaya Rajadhyaksha (Mauj, Shree Vatsa)
Oriya: Sachidananda Mohanty (Sharashjya)
Tamil: Sundara Ramaswamy (Manoasai, Subhamangala)
Telugu: Vakati Panduranga Rao (Andhra Prabha Illustrated Weekly)
Urdu: Gopi Chand Narang (Saughat)

Edited by: Geeta Dharmarajan



Publishers
: Katha
Cover Design: Taposhi Ghoshal
Colours: Arvinder Chawla
Logo Design: Crowquill
Category: Katha Prize Stories
Statistics: 5.5" x 8" 288 pages
ISBN 81-85586-09-8 [PB]
Price: Rs 250 [India and the subcontinent only]

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Katha Prize Stories: Volume 1

KPS 1 highlights the inherent heterogeneity of contemporary India – an India constantly negotiating contradictions and coming together. These fourteen award winning stories both create and break stereotypes. There is no attempt here to yoke together “universal themes” or “basic conflict,” yet brought serendipitously together is a galaxy of master writers who make for powerful and unusual reading.

This volume features fourteen award-winning stories whose common claim is excellence. The languages featured are Asomiya, Bangla, English, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.



Economic Times
(Sunday, August11, 1991)

The world of the storyteller.

Katha is a collection of short stories in English translation from different Indian languages including one written in English. Ten Indian languages are represented, with Punjabi, Oriya and Gujarati being excluded, and there are two stories from Kannada and Malayalam. The stories from the different languages have been selected by Nominating Editors who seem to have chosen the translators as well. The material has been culled from journals in the various languages published over a period of three years 1987-1990. The names of the journals have been listed at the end of the book under the pretentious title “select bibliography”. They are called “Prize Stories” on the basis of the Nominators/Editors own selection …

The translations read well and the depth of understanding and delineation of human character makes one realize how much the educated Indian reader is missing by confining himself to the English language. Some stories are outstanding, like the Urdu “Dream Images” (by Surendera Prakash translated by M Asaduddin). “Room by the Tubewell” (in Bengali by Sarat Kumar, translated by Enakshi Chatterji) has the diverting theme of a pacemaker being stolen from a dead body. The Tamil story “Reflowering” (by Sunder Ramaswami, translated by S Krishnan) has the down to earth relish of Tamil Nadu. These are some of the stories which impressed this reviewer but by and large the stories read well, whether or not they deserved “prizes” … the range of craftsmanship and technique is amazing, ranging as they do from surrealism to stream of consciousness and even a bit of magic realism.

– V Abdulla.
The Economic Times
(Sunday, August 11, 1991)

The conception and execution of the Katha Prize Stories series surely represents a unique and special moment in Indian publishing history … What has emerged out of this conscious and well-planned exercise is a fascinatingly supple range of short fiction which, though it does not claim to be representative, brings an intimate, exciting and live touch to what could otherwise have been a dry, academic exercise.

What strikes one is the gentle manner in which the venture challenges the premises of the mainstream publishing industry which believes only in grabbing, monopolizing and exploiting markets in a manipulative way, without generating processes within it that can be participative and creative. The Katha experiment is certainly an intervention, which contributes towards shifting the focus of publishing concepts from insular paranoia to more collaborative processes that can enter laterally in our value systems. Simultaneously, by the sheer sincerity of its purpose, it highlights the inherent laziness of publishing monopolies who have no need for engaging in any productive homework, who will never take trouble to interact with readers at any level other than that of mere commerce …

This first Katha anthology is only the beginning of several more to follow and is sure to provide fresh impetus to readers for a deeper engagement with the rich plurality of our own regional literatures.

– SM

The Authors

Purna Chandra Tejasvi
Bhupendranarayan Bhattacharyya
Swami
Dilip Purushottam Chitre
Ashok Srinivasan
Sarat Kumar Mukhopadhyay
Sara Joseph
Surendra Prakash
Madhurantakam Rajaram
Rekha
Fakir Muhammed Katpadi
T Padmanabhan
Arun Mhatre
Sundara Ramaswamy

The Translators

K Raghavendra Rao
Ranjita Biswas
Suhas Gole
Enakshi Chatterjee
Ayyappa Paniker
M Asaduddin
R S Sudarshanam
Ruth Vanita
P A Kolharkar
S Krishnan

The Nominating Editors & Journals

Assamese: Indira Goswami (Sutradhar)
Bangla: Enakshi Chatterjee (Jugantor)
English: Vijayalakshmi Quereshi
Hindi: Rajendra Yadav (Hans)
Kannada: Raghavendra Rao (Kathegallu-The Kannada Sahitya Parishad, Sannekatha - Karnataka Sahitya Akademi)
Malayalam: Ayyappa Paniker (Mathrubhoomi Weekly, Kalakaumudi)
Marathi: Vilas Sarang (Gulmohar, Anushthub)
Tamil: S Krishnan (India Today)
Telugu: Vakati Panduranga Rao (Andhra Prabha Illustrated Weekly, Andhra Jyoti Illustrated Weekly)
Urdu: Anisur Rahman (Zehn-e-Jadeed)

Edited by
Rimli Bhattacharya
Geeta Dharmarajan


Publishers: Katha
Cover Design: Taposhi Ghoshal
Colours: Arvinder Chawla
Logo Design: Crowquill
Category: Katha Prize Stories
Statistics: 5.5" x 8" 192 pages
ISBN 81-85586-00-4 [PB]
Price: Rs 200 [India and the subcontinent only]

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Katha Prize Stories: An Introduction



The Katha Prize Stories is an annual anthology of stories from various regional languages in translation. Every December Katha also gives out awards for the best short stories published in the preceding year in different languages. Each author receives the Katha Award for Creative Fiction and the editor of the regional language journal that first published the award-winning story, the Katha Journal Award. Each translator gets the Katha Award for Translation and the AK Ramanujan Award goes to a translator who can, with felicity, translate between two or more Indian languages. A category for oral literature has been introduced this year to celebrate the living tradition of storytelling in our country. The award winning entries are then published in the Katha Prize Stories (KPS). Thirteen such volumes have been published so far. Work on Volume Fourteen and Fifteen is under way.

From each language an eminent personality is chosen as our Nominating Editor. The Nominating Editor is then required to go through all the short stories published in the various journals and magazines in the previous year in a particular language and nominate three. The diverse tastes of editors of diverse magazines and journals ranging from a popular commercial weekly to a quiet small magazine can only add to the richness of the collection. In English, our Nominating Editor also considers unpublished stories. We always try to include as many languages as possible though the KPS series does not even try to be representative. We do not look for known writers necessarily but for Classics of a high literary quality that will stand the test of time.

The three nominated stories are then sent for rough translations. The story, which reads most powerfully in terms of language, style and content, is chosen. This is then sent for a final round of refined translation. After the story comes in to Katha, an intense round of editing is done on the story. Then it is sent to the writers and translators for their approval and suggestions to see that the translation has not deviated from the original in its essence or that there are no inadvertent deletions. These suggestions are incorporated into the story keeping in mind the house style. The same process of sending and getting the story back from the writers and translators for suggestions and alterations happens at least two or three times. Once the story takes its final shape, it is published in the Katha Prize Volume.
Check this space for details and media reviews for our collection!