Dalpat Chauhan (1940-) is a veteran Gujarati Dalit writer, one of the pioneers who flagged off Dalit literary movement in Gujarat in late seventies of the last century. He has worked in almost all genres available to a writer and published a number of books which cover poetry, fiction, non-fiction, plays, lexicography, criticism and historiography. Notable among them are his novels Malak (1991), Gidh (2000) Bhalbhankharu (2004), Rashava Suraj (2012) and Bapor (2021). His collections of short stories like Munjharo (2002) and Dar (2009) and those of poems like To Pachhi (1992) and Kya Chhe Suraj (2000) have been critically acclaimed. He has also scripted well-received plays like Patanne Gondre (1987-1988), Anaryavarta (2000), Antim Dhyey (2000) and Harifai (2003). He has received a number of awards and prizes: five from Gujarati Sahitya Akademy, four from Gujarati Sahitya Parishad, the prestigious Narsinh Mehta Award and Dumaketu Prize. His works have been translated into English and other Indian Languages.
Hemang Ashwinkumar (1978-) is a poet, fiction writer, translator, editor and critic working in Gujarati and English. His works have appeared in journals and books of national and international repute. His book-length English translations include Poetic Refractions (2012), an anthology of contemporary Gujarati poetry and Thirsty Fish and other Stories (2013), an anthology of select stories by eminent Gujarati writer 'Sundaram'. His recent Gujarati translations-Arun Kolatkar's Kala Ghoda Poems (2020), Sarpa Satra (2021) and Jejuri (2021)-have made a valuable, critical intervention in Gujarati literary sphere. His poems have been translated into Greek, Italian and other Indian languages. He works as an Associate Professor in English and Foreign Languages, Hyderabad.
Gujarat, 1964. The agrarian system of renewable annual contract mandates fulltime labour on the houses and farms of landlords. In these bleak circumstances, Iso, a tanner by birth, graduates from being a child labourer to an adult serf on the estate of Mavaji. His life is one of humiliation, hunger and drudgery, and the only respite comes in the form of Diwali, Mavaji's daughter. Between them exists a physical relationship that is shrouded in secrecy, shame and fear. Even as Iso creates distance between them, a chance encounter turns to violence and tragedy, and he faces the brutal sword of caste patriarchy.
Based on the blood-curdling murder of a Dalit boy by Rajput landlords in Kodaram village in 1964, Vultures portrays a feudal society structured around caste-based relations and social segregation, in which Dalit lives and livelihoods are torn to pieces by upper-caste vultures. The deft use of dialect, graphic descriptions and translator Hemang Ashwinkumar's lucid telling throw sharp focus on the fragmented world of a mofussil village in Gujarat, much of which remains unchanged even today.