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Voices of Asia: An Anthology of SAARC Fiction

Ajeet Cour (Editor) Pankaj Bhan (Editor)
Synopsis In consonance with the wishes of the writers of the SAARC region, expressed through numerous conferences, workshops, seminars, as also through inter-personal interactions, the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature has brought out this volume of representative short stories of Writers form the ‘seven sister’ countries comprising the SAARC region. While retaining their distinctive local colour and flavour, these stories embody certain common themes and motifs highlighting the myriad aspects of life as lived by the teeming millions who inhabit the region. In their different ways, they bring out the recurrent aspects of the ‘existential’ reality like poverty, ‘feminisation’ of poverty, gender relations, women’s empowerment, political protest, social upheavals, cultural assertion, corruption, pacifism, communal cleavages, etc. as lived out by the peoples of the region. But braving these seemingly insurmountable odds, the impoverished masses retain their essential humanity, and the hope the better times are not far off. It is this hope, and this assertion, that is a sine qua non for a better future for the largely oppressed people of the region. Literature, as literary pundits aver, provides a mirror, even if somewhat refracted, to social reality. The present anthology of SAARC fiction aspires to present a sliver of this reality. We at the AFAL/FOSWAL hope that his this and other efforts in the direction will help establish a significant niche of South Asian literature in the monolith of World Literature.
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About the authors

Ajeet Cour

Ajeet Cour, a foremost Punjabi writer of contemporary India, has published twelve volumes of stories, five novels, two volumes of autobiography, a collection of biographical pen-sketches, a travelogue, and several creative transcreations of fiction and poetry. Her autobiography Khanabadosh, in which she portrayed her struggles with a gender-discriminating society as also with her own self, got Sahitya Akademi Award for the year 1986. Ajeet Cour is also the initiator of a literary movement which seeks to decipher and establish SAARC literature as a sub-stream with a distinctive South Asian Identity. To achieve this objective, she established the Academy of Fine Arts and Literature in 1975 to highlight the region’s art, culture and literature, and also to take up issues like peace, cooperation, women’s empowerment, social discrimination against Dalits, poverty, injustice, violation of human rights, etc. later, she established the Foundation of SAARC Writers and Literature (FOSWAL) as a separate wing of the Academy dealing exclusively with SAARC literature. Under the banner of FOSWAL, she has been taking the lead in organizing SAARC Writer’s Conferences, seminars, exchange programmes and other modes of literary interaction for crystallizing the movement. She has also been disseminating the literature of the region by publishing books, anthologies, journals, etc. and also running a state-of-the-art website with a massive input in terms of the region’s representative writings.

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Pankaj Bhan

Pankaj Bhan teaches English language and literature in a Delhi University college. As a British Council scholar, he did short-term courses on English Language Teaching at Chester and Liverpool in 1990 and 1992 respectively. He has ‘transcreated’ many literary text from Hindi into English, including Babu Devaki Nandan Khatri’s classic Chandrakanta. His critical work entitled ‘Ruth Jhabvala’s India: The Image of India in the Fiction of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala’ will soon be out. He has been working in the field of human rights too and has been participating in the meetings of UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva.

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Bibliographic information

Title Voices of Asia: An Anthology of SAARC Fiction
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2002
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8188703002
length xii+248p., 23cm.