Translators: Sreedevi K. Nair & Laila Alex
A collection of thirty world- class stories which breathe the little- known culture of Kerala, India. These stories of exemplary craftsmanship contest an isolated, insular world view, and celebrate a truly inclusive one not just of human beings but of plants, insects, birds, and animals. T. Padmanabhan’s stories, told in a language of lyrical excellence, transform the ordinary, the mundane and the commonplace into timeless stories of compassion, empathy, love and hope. The book carries a scholarly ‘Introduction’, a highly insightful ‘Translator’s Note’, and a fascinating ‘Interview’ of the author.
T. Padmanabhan (TP) is a writer who enhanced the prestige of the genre of short story in Malayalam, the language of Kerala. His stories can stand comparison with the best short stories of the world. A writer who never gave in to the temptation of writing novels, T. Padmanabhan’s place in Malayalam literature is comparable to that of Edgar Allan Poe in American Literature. A versatile writer with a humanist vision, TP has the rare gift of capturing the inexpressible and the ephemeral in our lived reality. Though Padmanabhan’s stories are mainly located in Kerala, readers across the world read in them, their lives and their stories.
Pinarayi Vijayan, the Chief Minister of Kerala,
releasing STORIES: T. PADMANABHAN on 11 November 2020
Samyukta India Press (SIP) focuses on the publishing of regional literatures in English translation. The translation project was launched on the realization that even the best writing in the regional languages go unnoticed if not moved into English. With the intention of obtaining due recognition for exceptional literatures written in the regional languages of India and making them research-worthy, SIP commissions translators who have made outstanding contribution to literature in English, and provides each book with a detailed, scholarly ‘Introduction’ which situates the text, and an interview which provides the reader with an intimate knowledge of the writer, his life and ideology.
STORIES: T. PADMANABHAN is the first book in this series. TP was chosen primarily because very few of his stories are available in English though he is one of the major short story writers of contemporary Kerala. STORIES, thus aims to fill a void. Secondly, most of his stories showcase the bygone era of the latter half of the twentieth century. In the fast- changing lifeworld of Kerala, TP’s stories present vignettes of a departed reality which would otherwise slip into oblivion and be lost forever.
Sreedevi K. Nair is a Translation Studies scholar and a practising translator. She is the recipient of the Kerala State Lalita Kala Akademi (State Fine Arts Institute) award for the best translation of a book on Art (2004). She was the Charles Wallace India Trust Translator- in- Residence at the British Centre for Literary Translation, University of East Anglia in 2017. She was awarded the International Translation Grant of the International Center for Writing and Translation, University of California, Irvine, USA, for her joint-translation of the Tales of Athiranippadam (Orient Blackswan, 2013). Dr. Nair was also Associate at the Nida School of Translation Studies, San Pellegrino, Italy in 2011.
Laila Alex, besides being a translator, is a well-known short-fiction writer in Malayalam. Her collection of stories Kadal Kadannethiya Kadhakal (Stories from Across the Sea) and Lilith, in sharp contrast to those of T. Padmanabhan, present stories rooted in the USA, her country of residence, and view her native Kerala culture from the eyes of a diasporic writer. Laila has published extensively in both Malayalam and English.