Namita Gokhale wins Sahitya Academy Award for her book on the Kumaon region

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Namita Gokhale wins Sahitya Academy Award for her book on the Kumaon region

Literary works in 20 languages ​​achieved national recognition

By Harihar Swarup

Tamil feminist writer Ambai, Kannada biographer DS Nagabhushan, Telugu poet Coreti Venkanna and English author Namita Gokhale, among others, are this year’s recipients of the Sahitya Akademi Prize. The prize was awarded for literary works in 20 languages.

This year, seven collections of poetry, two novels, five short stories, two plays, a biography and an autobiography, a book of criticism and a poem were selected for a prize. Awards in Gujarati, Maithili and Urdu languages ​​will be announced at a later date. The winners will receive a cash prize of Rs 1,000,000.

The other winners are Mwdai Gahai (Bodo), Bratya Basu (Bengali), Daya Prakash Sinha (Hindi), Daya, Wali Muhammd Aseer, Kishtwari (Kashmiri), Chhabilal Upadhyaya (Nepal).

Speaking of winning the prestigious award for her book – Things to Leave Behind – Gokhale said: “To be a Sahitya Akademi award winner as an English writer, amidst these books in 22 languages, is a privilege. I believe in the concept of several languages, one literature.

Gokhale’s Book takes place between 1840 and 1912 in the Kumaon region. “He looks at the fragile new modernity that was emerging at that time. It examines colonial history from the perspective of both the colonizers and Kumaon, my homeland. It has many themes, but the base story is about three generations, a stubborn Kumaon woman. There is a particular stubbornness that characterizes this mountain woman ”.

Much of the book’s content comes from Gokhale’s previous work, Mountain Echoes: Reminiscences of Kumaoni women, where the author explores this oral history of the Kumaon region through recollections of his grandmother and three greats. – aunts. “It gave me an idea of ​​how people lived, especially the cleaning ladies. My great-grandfather, BD Pandey, wrote the first Kumaon story, which was a credible source. Another source was the Himalayan Gazetteer, written by ET Arkinson ”.

The Sahitya Akademi, the National Academy of Letters of India, is an organization dedicated to the promotion of literature in the languages ​​of India. Founded on March 12, 1954, it is supported by, although independent, the Indian government. His office is located at Rabindra Bhavan near Mandi House in Delhi.

The Sahitya Akademi organizes national and regional workshops and seminars; offers research and travel grants to authors; publishes books and journals, including the Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature; and presents the annual Sahitya Akademi award from the INR. 100,000 in each of the 24 languages ​​he supports, as well as the Sahitya Akademi scholarship for his entire career.

Sahitya Akademi Library is one of the largest multilingual libraries in India, with a rich collection of books on literature and related subjects.

It publishes two bi-monthly literary reviews: Indian Literature in English and Samkaleen Bharatiya Sahitya in Hindi. (IPA Service)

Photo: Namita Gokhale (left) Punjabi writer Khalid Hussian (right)

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