Mamoni Raisom in race for - Crossword Award

Goswami’s The Man from Chinnamasta, translated into English by Prashant Goswami from her Assamese work Chinnamastar Manuhto, along with In a Forest, a Deer by CS Lakshmi and M Mukundan’s Kesavan’ s Lamentations are the three novels shortlisted in the Indian Language Fiction Translation category. The awards will be given away on February 21 in Mumbai.

Talking to PTI over phone from Guwahati, Indira said the shortlisting is a big boost for Assamese translators.

“There was this notion that Assamese translators cannot make it to the big league but Prashant’s effort negates that,” she said.

Goswami wrote The Man from Chinnamasta to protest against the sacrifices at the Kamakhya temple. The temple is considered to be the greatest shrine of mystic Shaktism, one of the main religions of the state during the medieval period.

Goswami said rituals are like diseases that affect the society. “This book deals with various aspects of rituals carried out at the temple including animal sacrifice,” she said.

The novel, published by Katha, was released at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October last year.

Translator Prashant said, this was his first major effort.

“Though I have written short stories and articles, this is my first translation of a well-known book and I am excited that it has been received so well,” said Prashant, who is an engineer by profession.

In the English fiction category novels like Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games and The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai are on the shortlist. Fali S Nariman’s India’s Legal System: Can it be Saved? and Two Lives by Vikram Seth are among those that figure in the English Non-Fiction shortlist.

Each award will carry a cash prize of Rs 3 lakhs, a trophy and a citation. In case of Indian Language Fiction Translation category, the author and the translator share the prize money equally.

According to the promoters, the awards recognise and reward the best of Indian writing and ensure that works of merit reach a wider audience.

Past winners include I. Allan Sealy for The Everest Hotel, Vikram Seth for An Equal Music, Amitav Ghosh for The Hungry Tide and Salman Rushdie for Shalimar the Clown. – PTI

The Assam Tribune,22.01.2007