Publishing News [National]

Baqir Shameem, a retired Brigadier from the Indian Army, released his book The Chenab Connection, a fascinating love story that traverse between India and Pakistan. Brigadier Shameem has served in the Indian Army for over three decades and witnessed the growing Indo-Pak conflict from close quarters. Speaking at the book release, Brigadier Shameem said, “After I completed my fourth book, my daughter-in-law Pooja asked me to write a love story. I thought if it had to be love, why not base it on regional folklore? Two folklores that immediately came to my mind are Sohni-Mahiwal and Heer-Ranjha. Coincidently, both these folklores are "from the Chenab region.”

The Chenab Connection is a fictional love story about an Indian boy and a Pakistani girl falling in love and managing to settle down, having a family, under the looming shadow of hatred that has grown stronger over the last seven decades. The book was launched by Brigadier Shameem’s wife, Nilofar. The book release was followed by a conversation with the author and senior journalist, Tina Sharma Tiwari on the topic "Can Chenab connect the hearts and minds of the people like it connects the land?”

Niyogi Books recently launched an illustrated lecture based on their book In The Shadow Of The Devi Kumaon: Of A Land, A People, A Craft by Dr Manju Kak in New Delhi.

The untamed beauty of the Himalayas immediately captures our collective imagination with visions of serenity, natural splendour and mysticism. But these mountains also dictate the lives of those who live by its laws—the resilient hill dwellers, or paharis, whose work and lives are shaped by their surroundings. In the Shadow of the Devi: Kumaon details the legacy of a land, a people and a craft deeply intertwined with its environment. Manju Kak looks at this enigmatic land of Kumaon through the prism of woodcraft, unique in its aesthetic in this part of India, documenting the styles, influences and techniques used by the craftsmen of Uttarakhand, as well as Kumaoni artisans’ worldview and beliefs.

The book is beautifully complemented with photographs by award-winning Kumaoni photographer Anup Sah and Vaibhav Kaul, among others. It is also a visual delight for those who have an interest in the region. It adds to the existing knowledge on Uttarakhand, emblematic of other Indian hill states, though its focus is on Kumaon, the land that lies in the shadow of the majestic mountain Nanda Devi.

Institut français India has launched the very first Romain Rolland Book Prize, an award for the best translation of a French title in India. Translations into all Indian languages (including English) will be considered, for any literary fiction title published between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2017.

The eminent jury will be composed of Namita Gokhale, author, founder and co-director of ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival; Annie Montaut, prof. Hindi at INALCO (Paris); Michèle Albaret-Maatsch, literary translator; Renuka George, literary translator; and Chinmoy Guha, professor university of Calcutta and literary translator.

For regional languages, consultants will join in to assess the quality of the translation.

The jury will be chaired by the Embassy of France in India. The awardee will be announced at Zee Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 / Jaipur BookMark 2018.

A curated trip to Paris Book Fair in March 2018 awaits the publisher and the translator of the winning translation.

The Zee Jaipur Literature Festival @The British Library in London was successfully held from May 21-22, 2017. Some of the world’s leading travel writers gathered together in Footloose: The Travel Session to discuss their personal journeys and the experiences behind their writings. Anthony Sattin, Hugh Thomson, Samanth Subramanian with William Dalrymple demonstrated that although the most historic form of literature, travel writing has an unending capacity for reinvention. While, singer and author Vidya Shah shared long lost music recorded by women in India, in the early days of the gramophone.

Constitutional experts all over the world examined the challenges faced by new and changing political realities all over the world, and how to understand and implement established legal systems in a shifting context. In a session exploring Lutyen’s Delhi, Delhi biographer Malvika Singh claimed, citizens should “take ownership” of their city spaces to create a workable city. The author of many books about the city elaborated: ‘The main point is citizens should take ownership of their spaces, protest, walk the talk and not just take what is doled out.’ There were many more interesting sessions, which attracted full audience at the event.

ZEE JLF@The British Library is the first of five cultural strands which form part of the India – UK Year of Culture in 2017, celebrating the deep cultural ties and exchange between the two nations in what is a year of great significance for the world’s largest democracy. The year-long programme also includes India@Edinburgh in August, The Independence Gala@Southbank Centre in October, a season of Dance & Theatre and the UK Premiere of the Bharat Symphony by Dr L. Subramaniam and the London Symphony Orchestra in November.

Latest releases from Parragon Publishing India are two new books by artist Sanjay Bhattacharyya. Titled Mirror to The World and Deep Dark Sigh, both the books were launched at a glorious gathering in New Delhi, organised in presence of a host of eminent guests including actor and MP Jaya Bachchan, art curators & critics like Suneet Chopra and Uma Nair, archeological restorer Aman Nath, and many among others. At the launch event, Vineet Sharma, MD, Parragon Publishing India, addressed the gathering giving a brief note on the company’s success in its 10 years of presence in the country.

“Printed books and materials are what we have been growing up with, and would like to sustain this co-operation further,” said Vineet, adding that Parragon takes pride at exploring a niche arena of the vast Indian art books, especially unearthing works of critically acclaimed painters like Sanjay Bhattacharayya. Born in Kolkata, and currently living in New Delhi, artist Sanjay Bhattacharyya is also a poet and a photographer. He has a style—classic yet unique. And a style that sets him apart.

“I know Sanjay (Bhattacharyya) since a long time. And it’s a privilege to be part of the launch event of his books today. Moreover, I still love physical books in this digital era; the feel of paper is not same as the feel on iPad,” remarked Jaya Bachchan. Mirror to The World is defined as a painter’s journey and the book covers Bengal’s art of the late sixties and seventies, portraying regional folk art, streets of Kolkata, painting of lord Krishna. Look Back in Wonder, A Re-Reading of Rembrandt, The Invisible Door & Dali are some masterpieces featured in this book.

The second book Deep Dark Sigh is a collection of poems, which can be termed as ‘poet’s other side’ and it narrates the author’s life from his college days till date. The poems resonate Sanjay’s inner feeling, frustration, moods on varied themes. Curator Uma Nair said Sanjay’s works speak the spirit of India. Both the books are now available on order from Parragon Publishing India.