A family is unable to decide whether a parrot who has landed in its garden is a Hindu or a Muslim.
A courtesan loses her ancestral mirror to rioters. The family that now possesses it finds itself transformed.
Mutta celebrates her freedom from domestic drudgery.
Vatsyayana hands you the keys to sexual bliss.
Hira Dom berates the caste system.
Over the centuries, many great empires and kingdoms took root in Bihar and, along with advancements in mathematics, astronomy, philosophy, science and statecraft, they produced exemplary works of literature.
The Book of Bihari Literature is a vibrant collection of writings-poems, essays, stories-that have flowed from the pens of the great poets, thinkers and writers across millennia, who were born or lived in what is modern-day Bihar. This book makes accessible to English-speaking readers the bounty of Bihari literature, and brings to the fore works in neglected languages by ancient philosophers and celebrated contemporary authors alike.
'This is a magnificent and engrossing tribute to the vigour and vibrancy, the sensuality, the philosophical depth and the stylistic sophistication of Bihari literature. The voices and narratives resonate across a slew of languages, across prose and poetry, from classic to contemporary, through centuries and millennia.'
-Namita Gokhale, writer, editor, publisher
'An extraordinary collection of Bihari poetry and prose. Who could resist the charms of "The Goon"?'
-Shobhaa De, author, journalist
'Abhay K. is a poet, translator, anthologist and scholar, apart from his day job as a diplomat. This book, apart from being a tribute to his multiple skills, reveals the amazing history of the many languages and cultures that have flowered over the centuries in Bihar and created its incredible literature. Poetry, fiction, sacred text, history, travelogues, fascinating tales that interweave to introduce us to a culture that is breathtakingly rich in its range and diversity. This is the Bihar that will tell you what India is.'
-Pritish Nandy, poet, journalist, filmmaker
'Anthologizing is a complex task, riddled with issues of inclusion, exclusion, representation, discovery, balance, and so on. And when it involves multiple languages, histories and cultures, the task is harder. Abhay K. has taken on this task, and brought together writers and translators from eleven languages to give us a feast of Bihari literature. From meditations on the art of kissing and the meaning of love and desire to experiences at the sharper edges of life marked with loss and want, from men and women caught in the sucking mud of oppressive traditions to those who soar into freedom, this collection spans centuries of Bihari literature in all its linguistic and cultural diversity. A must-read for everyone interested in the literary evolution of a region.'
-Jayasree Kalathil, author, translator
'What a glorious, delightful medley of Bihar's languages and literary traditions! From classic to contemporary and original works to translated ones, this diverse collection spans many time periods, forms and genres to reveal a richly layered, storied, and forever evolving region. This isn't merely a book of Bihari literature; it's an unmissable and enduring Bihar state of mind.'
-Jenny Bhatt, author, translator
'Spanning a gamut of emotions and experiences-from wisdom to sensuousness, romance to reflection, history to contemporary politics-this anthology attests as much to the brilliance of the works as to the judgement of its editor. This volume is an able representative of the region it derives its name from.'
-Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, author
'From the wisdom of the ancient to the tumult of the present, The Book of Bihari Literature presents the voices of this glorious land in all their richness and variety, sourced from a bouquet of familiar and obscure languages.'
-N. Kalyan Raman, translator
|TheBook Of Bihari Literature