NEW DELHI, March 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — On the occasion of Bihar Day, HarperCollins India announces the publication of The Book of Bihari Literature, edited by poet–diplomat Abhay K., in October 2022.
About the book
Bihar has a long history that dates back to the foundation of the Mahajanapada (Great Kingdom) of Magadha in southern Bihar with its capital in Rajgriha, present day Rajgir, and later at Pataliputra, modern-day Patna. Over the centuries, several dynasties ruled Magadha and gave rise to two of India’s great empires – the Maurya and the Gupta empires. Both these empires witnessed great advancements in mathematics, astronomy, literature, philosophy, science, statecraft, and the emergence of new religions such as Buddhism and Jainism.
The Book of Bihari Literature is the first-ever attempt to present a glimpse of the rich world of Bihari literature in English translation from among the many languages spoken in Bihar. Many of these works have been translated for the first time, making these accessible to the English-speaking world.
Bihari literature, spread over two millennia, consists of literary works produced in various languages spoken in Bihar, such as Magahi, Bhojpuri, Maithili, Angika, Bajjika, Hindi, Urdu, Persian, English, and classical languages such as Sanskrit and Pali.
Featuring pieces by
Mutta, Sumangalmata, Kautilya, Vatsyayna, Sarhapa, Vidyapati, Abdul-Qādir Bēdil, Dean Mahomed, Mahendar Misir, Bhikhari Thakur, Raghuveer Narayan, Heera Dom, Acharya Shivpujan Sahay, Rambriksh Benipuri, Bedil Azimabadi, Hari Mohan Jha, Ramdhari Singh Dinkar, Nagarjun, Phanishwar Nath Renu, Surendra Mohan Prasad, Rameshwar Singh Kashyap, Mathura Prasad Naveen, Surendra Prasad Tarun, Rajkamal Chaudhary, Kalam Haidari, Lalit, Ravindra Kumar, R. Ishari Arshad, Harishchandra Priyadarshi, Pandey Surendr, Mithilesh, Chandramohan Pradhan, Mridula Sinha, Shamoil Ahmad, Ramdhari Singh Diwakar, Usha Kiran Khan, Alok Dhanwa, Subhash Chandra Yadav, Hussain Ul Haque, Shaiwal, Aniruddha Prasad Vimal, Abdus Samad, Prem Kumar Mani, Ashok, Nagendra Sharma Bandhu, Arun Kamal, Narayanji, Avdhesh Preet, Vibha Rani, Anamika, Savita Singh, Ashwani Kumar, Amitava Kumar, Dhananjay Shrotriya, Arun Harliwal, Tabish Khair, Kumar Mukul, Ratneshwar, Kiran Kumari Sharma, Kavita, Pankhuri Sinha and Abhay K.
Pandita Vairocanaraksita, Mangal Murty, Ram Bhagwan Singh, N.C. Sinha, Nalini Taneja, Dr Syed Sarawar Hussain, Manisha Chaudhry, Dr Rakhshanda Jalil, Vidyanand Jha, Huma Mirza, Asif Jalal, Jay Ram Singh, Vivek Perampuria, Chaitali Pandya, Abhay K., Dr Bindu Singh, Gautam Choubey, Medha Singh, Abhay Kumar, Akanksha Garg and Nasim Fekrat.
Speaking on the occasion, the editor of the book, Abhay K., says, ”The Book of Bihari Literature includes literary works from eleven languages of Bihar, spanning over three millennia. It is for the first time that literature from so many languages of Bihar is being made accessible in English translation. I’m delighted to share on Bihar Day that the book is being published by HarperCollins India, known for bringing out quality and memorable books. Editing this book has been a journey back to my roots in Bihar. I’ve only been able to include a very small fraction of literary treasures of Bihar in it because of various constraints. I hope to see more translations of Bihari literature published in the coming years.“
Prema Govindan, Senior Commissioning Editor at HarperCollins India, says, “Bihar has a long and chequered past, with an astonishing list of poets, philosophers, thinkers and storytellers cataloguing its ups and downs. We are honoured to publish Abhay K.’s delightful anthology of pieces from Bihari literature. With this book, we hope to introduce our readers to the diversity of thought and brilliance of writing Bihar has offered to us over millennia.”
About the editor
Abhay K. (b.1980) comes from Nalanda, Bihar, and is the author of ten poetry books. His poems have appeared in over a hundred literary magazines, including Poetry Salzburg Review and Asia Literary Review. His ‘Earth Anthem’ has been translated into over 150 languages. He received the SAARC Literary Award 2013 and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC, in 2018. His translations of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Ritusamhara from Sanskrit won the KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award 2020–21.
About HarperCollins Publishers India
HarperCollins Publishers India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 2,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Prabha Khaitan Woman’s Voice Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and the Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India has been awarded the Publisher of the Year Award four times: at Publishing Next in 2015, and at Tata Literature Live! in 2016, 2018 and 2021. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Egmont, Oneworld, Harvard University Press, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet.
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