Women in translation

Some of the best translated works by Indian women authors

Mai: Silently Mother by Geetanjali Shree

Behind the walls of a house in a North Indian town, a whole world thrives — of the joint family, their attendants, their visitors. Three generations of women and their men live different strategies of adjustment and achievement to accommodate or challenge patriarchy. They seem to fit in recognised frames, but what are the subtle machinations behind the apparent stereotypes? It is that which the novel uncovers, in a tale told in deceptively simple terms, using smells, sounds, tastes and flavours, scenes and tiny signs, and incidents of a daily and ordinary existence to build, weave by weave, a rich and layered tapestry, saying always more than is apparent.


A Plate of White Marble by Bani Basu

First published in 1990 in the original Bengali, A Plate of White Marble tells the tale of the ‘new woman’ of an era that just witnessed the independence of a nation. This first translation brings a significant Bengali novel with important social concerns to a wider audience.

Ganga’s Choice by Vaasanthi

How free are women to make their own choices in the circumstances in which they find themselves? How do ordinary citizens become caught in communal divisions and migrant labourers cope with despair during the pandemic? These are some of the queries posed by the poignant and thought-provoking tales in this book.

Giligadu: The Lost Days by Chitra Mudgal

It is a multi-layered novelette, short in length yet deep in meaning and messages for urban India. It is unique in the subtle way it conveys, both to the aged (who chafe at the apparent loss of respect and control) and to the not-so-old (who deserve to live their life on their terms), through the pen of a creative genius, a dignified way out of this two-pronged dilemma—a bold break with traditions and setting new societal rules.

Lost Addresses by Krishna Bose

Lost Addresses is Krishna’s story of her childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. It vividly describes Calcutta, Bengal and India in the 1930s and 1940s and the early years after Independence. Illustrated with old photographs, this memoir is a valuable historical record, told in flowing literary style.

The Parrot Green Saree by Nabaneeta Dev Sen

The Parrot Green Saree is the story of two women, two generations and two worlds moulded out of memory, expectations, and desires. Set primarily in the United States, this is also the story of displacement and loss, of a remembered homeland, of political and personal battles, of individual freedom. The translator Late Tutun Mukherjee was Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Hyderabad, India and had also taught courses at Centre for Women’s Studies and Department of Theatre Arts in the university. Her specialization was Literary Criticism and Theory and research interests include translation, women’s writing, theatre and film studies.

Courtesy: Niyogi Books

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