Interview: Geetanjali Shree - “I just have to be myself” - Upsmag - Magazine News

Interview: Geetanjali Shree – “I just have to be myself”

Geetanjali Shree, who has been a prominent figure in the world of Hindi literature with her five novels, two short collections, and a biography of Munshi Premchand, made history when her novel Rejection Samadhitranslated into English as Tomb of Sand by Daisy Rockwell, won the 2022 International Booker Prize for Translated Fiction on May 26.

The Booker website states: “Tomb of Sand is the first book originally written in any Indian language to win the International Booker Prize, and the first novel translated from Hindi to be recognized by the award.” The novel is epic in its scale, narrating the story of an 80-year-old Partition survivor who makes the journey from India to Pakistan to revisit her roots, and paying tribute to the finest Partition writers from the subcontinent including Krishna Sobti, Bhisham Sahni , Balwant Singh, Joginder Pal, Saadat Hasan Manto, Rahi Masoom Raza, Intizar Hussain, Khushwant Singh, and Rajinder Singh Bedi.

The prize money of £50,000 will be shared equally by the author and the translator. The novel that has been called “the finest single work of fiction from around the world which has been translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland” was first published in Hindi in 2018 by Rajkamal Prakashan. Rockwell’s English translation was published in 2021 by Tilted Axis Press, a non-profit publisher in the UK.

Winner of the International Booker Prize, 2022

What was it like to be in London, receiving the International Booker Prize in person?

The shortlisted authors and translators were summoned to London for a couple of events that preceded the one where the final decision was announced. So there was, not just for me, a degree of uncertainty. The announcement came as a bolt from the blue. A nice one. Actually, it felt like a nice bolt when the book was longlisted, also when it was shortlisted, and, finally, when it was chosen.

Did you ever anticipate that Rejection Samadhi would get the kind of love and adulation and prize money that it has received? What are you doing to keep yourself grounded amidst all this?

Not once in the 30-odd years of writing do I remember the shadow of its likely reception falling on my fiction. It feels good if some love and appreciation – not adulation – also come. But then so does criticism bordering on dismissal. Prize money? Let alone prize money, is it possible to create literature in anticipation of even awards? Nothing special is required to remain grounded. I just have to be myself.

Ret Samadhi, the Hindi original

Tell us about your association with Rajkamal Prakashan, and why you chose them? Will your Booker win help bring more attention to Hindi literature?

I began in the 1980s with writing short stories. The first three of these were published in Hans, the prominent monthly edited by Rajendra Yadav. When the first collection of my short stories was ready, it was natural that I should try my luck with Rajkamal, the most prominent and respectable Hindi publishing house. Shiela Sandhu accepted the manuscript. That relationship has continued since. Regarding more attention getting directed on Hindi literature following the Booker, judging by the ways of the international book trade, that seems a realistic scenario.

Why does the Partition, as a historical event, continue to draw the attention of fiction writers? What made you engage with it? Who are some of your favorite Partition writers?

Because, sadly, the event still persists across the border. Because it persists in its deadliest manifestations. All of my favorite writers on the Partition come alive in the pages of Rejection Samadhi.

What are your thoughts on the other books that were on the International Booker shortlist?

I specifically stated in my acceptance speech that my book was but one among six outstanding recent works of fiction.

How would you describe the experience of being translated by Daisy Rockwell? How has your relationship with her evolved?

It was a mutually rewarding experience. Very exacting and demanding, but astonishingly harmonious. Almost till we met face-to-face in London, it had been a professional relationship. To that is now added the warmth of friendship.

Which other languages ​​will Rejection Samadhi be translated into Have you received any offers to adapt it into a movie or television series?

I can’t presently say anything concrete about translations. I have had no offers from the world of cinema and serials.

How was your world view as a novelist shaped by your education at Lady Shri Ram College for Women and Jawaharlal Nehru University?

LSR was a “proper” women’s college, which is what it was supposed to be. JNU was liberating and enabling. Both experiences have differently influenced the way I think about the world.

Chintan Girish Modi is an independent writer, journalist and book reviewer.

Geetanjali Shree, who has been a prominent figure in the world of Hindi literature with her five novels, two short collections, and a biography of Munshi Premchand, made history when her novel Rejection Samadhitranslated into English as Tomb of Sand by Daisy Rockwell, won the 2022 International Booker Prize for Translated Fiction on May 26.

The Booker website states: “Tomb of Sand is the first book originally written in any Indian language to win the International Booker Prize, and the first novel translated from Hindi to be recognized by the award.” The novel is epic in its scale, narrating the story of an 80-year-old Partition survivor who makes the journey from India to Pakistan to revisit her roots, and paying tribute to the finest Partition writers from the subcontinent including Krishna Sobti, Bhisham Sahni , Balwant Singh, Joginder Pal, Saadat Hasan Manto, Rahi Masoom Raza, Intizar Hussain, Khushwant Singh, and Rajinder Singh Bedi.

The prize money of £50,000 will be shared equally by the author and the translator. The novel that has been called “the finest single work of fiction from around the world which has been translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland” was first published in Hindi in 2018 by Rajkamal Prakashan. Rockwell’s English translation was published in 2021 by Tilted Axis Press, a non-profit publisher in the UK.

Winner of the International Booker Prize, 2022
Winner of the International Booker Prize, 2022

What was it like to be in London, receiving the International Booker Prize in person?

The shortlisted authors and translators were summoned to London for a couple of events that preceded the one where the final decision was announced. So there was, not just for me, a degree of uncertainty. The announcement came as a bolt from the blue. A nice one. Actually, it felt like a nice bolt when the book was longlisted, also when it was shortlisted, and, finally, when it was chosen.

Did you ever anticipate that Rejection Samadhi would get the kind of love and adulation and prize money that it has received? What are you doing to keep yourself grounded amidst all this?

Not once in the 30-odd years of writing do I remember the shadow of its likely reception falling on my fiction. It feels good if some love and appreciation – not adulation – also come. But then so does criticism bordering on dismissal. Prize money? Let alone prize money, is it possible to create literature in anticipation of even awards? Nothing special is required to remain grounded. I just have to be myself.

Ret Samadhi, the Hindi original
Ret Samadhi, the Hindi original

Tell us about your association with Rajkamal Prakashan, and why you chose them? Will your Booker win help bring more attention to Hindi literature?

I began in the 1980s with writing short stories. The first three of these were published in Hans, the prominent monthly edited by Rajendra Yadav. When the first collection of my short stories was ready, it was natural that I should try my luck with Rajkamal, the most prominent and respectable Hindi publishing house. Shiela Sandhu accepted the manuscript. That relationship has continued since. Regarding more attention getting directed on Hindi literature following the Booker, judging by the ways of the international book trade, that seems a realistic scenario.

Why does the Partition, as a historical event, continue to draw the attention of fiction writers? What made you engage with it? Who are some of your favorite Partition writers?

Because, sadly, the event still persists across the border. Because it persists in its deadliest manifestations. All of my favorite writers on the Partition come alive in the pages of Rejection Samadhi.

What are your thoughts on the other books that were on the International Booker shortlist?

I specifically stated in my acceptance speech that my book was but one among six outstanding recent works of fiction.

How would you describe the experience of being translated by Daisy Rockwell? How has your relationship with her evolved?

It was a mutually rewarding experience. Very exacting and demanding, but astonishingly harmonious. Almost till we met face-to-face in London, it had been a professional relationship. To that is now added the warmth of friendship.

Which other languages ​​will Rejection Samadhi be translated into Have you received any offers to adapt it into a movie or television series?

I can’t presently say anything concrete about translations. I have had no offers from the world of cinema and serials.

How was your world view as a novelist shaped by your education at Lady Shri Ram College for Women and Jawaharlal Nehru University?

LSR was a “proper” women’s college, which is what it was supposed to be. JNU was liberating and enabling. Both experiences have differently influenced the way I think about the world.

Chintan Girish Modi is an independent writer, journalist and book reviewer.

FOLLOW US ON GOOGLE NEWS

Read original article here

Denial of responsibility! Quick Telecast is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.
Click to rate this post!
[Total: 0 Average: 0]
Leave a Comment

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings