A treasure trove of Bihari Literature, edited by diplomat Abhay K, now available in English
'The Book of Bihari Literature' edited by poet-diplomat Abhay K contains translated literature from various languages spoken in Bihar such as Angika, Bajjika, Bhojpuri, English, Farsi, Hindi, Magahi, Maithili, Pali, Sanskrit and Urdu.
New Delhi, November 2: Centuries of literature from Bihar spanning its various languages have been brought out in a new English compilation by poet diplomat Abhay K.
Published by HarperCollins India, the tome contains a selection of vibrant collection of writings-poems, essays and stories, which have been penned by some 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 both ancient philosophers and celebrated contemporary authors alike.
"The Book of Bihari Literature makes accessible the rich literature of Bihar written in over ten languages, in English translation, to the world. The first of its kind, it's a landmark anthology which will open many doors," author Abhay K said about the book.
Myriad stories published in the book include those of a family's inability to decide whether a parrot which has landed in its garden is a Hindu or a Muslim; Another tale that finds its place in the book is that of a courtesan who loses her ancestral mirror to rioters and the family that now possesses it finds itself transformed. While Mutta celebrates her freedom from domestic drudgery; Vatsyayana hands you the keys to sexual bliss and 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, produced exemplary works of literature.
"A brilliant collection of the very best of Bihari literature, this anthology will delight and astonish in equal measure. It's a veritable treat!" said Prema Govindan, Senior Commissioning Editor, Literary, at HarperCollins India.
Abhay K, who hails from Nalanda, Bihar has previously authored a dozen poetry books, including Celestial, Stray Poems, Monsoon, The Magic of Madagascar and The Alphabets of Latin America.
He is also the editor of The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems, Capitals, New Brazilian Poems and The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems.
His poems have appeared in over a hundred literary magazines, including the Poetry Salzburg Review and Asia Literary Review.
His 'Earth Anthem' has been translated into over 150 languages. He received the SAARC Literary Award (2013) and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, in 2018.
His translations of Kalidasa's Meghaduta and Ritusamhara from the Sanskrit won him the KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award (2020-21).
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