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Penguin unveils literary extravaganza with Booker Prize-winning author Geetanjali Shree

Penguin unveils literary extravaganza with Booker Prize-winning author Geetanjali Shree


, Tuesday, 23 April 2024 (19:30 IST)
Kolkata:  Penguin Random House India has announced the acquisition of two new books, Our City That Year and Once Elephants Lived Here by the International Booker Prize-winning author Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi to English by International Booker Prize-winning translator Daisy Rockwell.

Releasing under Penguin’s Hamish Hamilton imprint, the first book will come out later in the year and the second one will release in 2025.Our City That Year takes readers on a poignant journey with an evocative tale that unfolds against the backdrop of societal shifts, offering a nuanced exploration of love, loss and the indelible marks left by time.

Once Elephants Lived Here is the title story in a collection of short stories which offers a glimpse into the author's early exploration of themes that later manifested in the acclaimed Tomb of Sand. Shree fearlessly challenges readers to question and transcend their preconceptions of the short story genre, promising a thought-provoking and transformative reading experience.

In addition to these new acquisitions, Penguin is republishing Geetanjali Shree’s first novel, Mai, translated by Nita Kumar. The English translation of the book was first published in 2000 and then again in 2017.
This novel peels back layers of complex relationships and societal dynamics, challenging simplistic notions of freedom.
To end this exciting series of updates about Shree’s works, Penguin has revealed a new paperback cover for the globally acclaimed Booker Prize-winning novel Tomb of Sand, authored by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell.
Commenting on the forthcoming books, Geetanjali Shree remarks, ‘It is wonderful to have three of my books coming out anew. Mai, my first novel, is special to me. It is the bedrock on which my writing grew. Our City That Year is a churning and soul-searching novel that speaks to our paranoid divisive times. The stories in Once Elephants Lived Here reflect diverse directions. To get back to these books with a team that has worked so wonderfully before – Penguin, Tilted Axis, HarperVia, and of course, Daisy and me – is so rejuvenating. We are like a well-established musical gharana which is solid in its basics and comes up with renderings of ragas ever richer in their fresh new renditions.’
Adding to this, translator Daisy Rockwell says, ‘Translating Our City that Year has been thrilling, terrifying, and of course, challenging. It was wonderful to discover many of the seeds of Geetanjali's later experimentation which we later see in full bloom in Tomb of Sand. It's been wonderful to collaborate with Geetanjali and Penguin India again on this timely and incisive project.’
Manasi Subramaniam, Editor-in-Chief, Penguin Press, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘These acquisitions mark a significant step forward in Penguin Press's ongoing mission to cultivate a diverse landscape for translations. The acclaim garnered by Tomb of Sand underscores the remarkable synergy between Geetanjali Shree and Daisy Rockwell, illuminating their collective brilliance and reinforcing our conviction in this duo. Additionally, reintroducing Mai to the world serves to reaffirm its enduring status as a cornerstone of Indian literature. These three books underscore our steadfast ethos of amplifying women in translation.’

Milee Ashwarya, Publisher, Adult Publishing Group, Penguin Random House India, says, ‘Penguin Random House India has been home to Geetanjali Shree’s works in English, and I am proud to have published Tomb of Sand winner of the 2022 International Booker Prize by Geetanjali Shree translated by Daisy Rockwell among others. With the acquisition of three new books Our City That Year, Once Elephants Lived Here by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell and Mai by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Nita Kumar we hope to deepen our commitment to writing in Indian languages and the need for translation into English for a wider and diverse audience. I am delighted to publish these new works and hope they reach out to many more readers.’(UNI)

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Penguin unveils literary extravaganza with Booker Prize-winning author Geetanjali Shree