English translations of Tagore’s works a mouse click away

May 8th, 2011 - 7:02 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 8 (IANS) A special collection of English translations of novels, poetry, essays and short stories written by Rabindranath Tagore and his biographies is on sale online as part of the Penguin Tagore Bookshelf presented by Penguin-Books India as part of his 150th birth anniversary commemoration.

According to a spokesperson for the publishing house, the Tagore Bookshelf aims to rekindle interest about the Nobel laureate’s literary works among Gen-Next readers and English-speaking students.

Tagore’s works include nearly 60 collections of verse, nearly a hundred short stories, several novels, plays, dance dramas, essays on religion, society and literature and over 2,500 songs - including the national anthems of India and Bangladesh.

Tagore re-invented the novel with the “Farewell Song”, which has been translated by Radha Chakravarty. The writer has also translated “Gora”, one of Tagore’s most ambitious novels about India’s nationalist awakening. The two books are the highlights of Penguin’s Tagore Bookshelf, a statement issued by the publisher said.

Other Tagore titles in the collection include “A Grain of Sand: Choker Bali” translated by Sreejeeta Guha, “Home and the World (’Ghare Baire’)” and “Classic Rabindranath Tagore”, a complete and unabridged collection of Tagore’s most popular novels in translations.

An English version of “Gitanjali” and a volume of “Selected Poems” featuring some of the best poems by Tagore translated by William Radice are among the collectors’ items on the shelf.

An anthology, “The Jewel That is Best: Collected Brief Poems” is available in three volumes, “Particles”, “Jottings” and “Sparks” while another translated compendium of poems “I Won’t Let You Go: Selected Poems” by Ketaki Kushari Dyson captures the essence of the verses.

The selection of short stories comprises “The Postmaster: Selected Stories” and “Kabuliwallah” translated by Radice and “He” (’Shey’), which Tagore wrote to satisfy the demands for stories by his nine-year-old granddaughter. The story has been translated by Aparna Chaudhuri.

The miscellaneous section on the bookshelf includes “Nationalism”, based on lectures by Tagore during the First World War with an introduction by Ramachandra Guha, Rabindranath Tagore (Words of Freedom), a selection from Tagore’s speeches and writings on the nation, “The Nectar of Life: Quotations from Prose Writing” and “My Life in My Words”, a compilation of selected essays by Tagore.

Two biographies brings out the mind of the poet and his household to the readers. “Rabindranath Tagore: The Singer and His Song” by Reba Som is a journey into the poet’s life through his music and “Women of Tagore Household” by Chitra Deb documents the Tagore women, who pioneered fashion and modern living in Bengal in the 19th and the 20th centuries.

Penguin India is also partnering with the British Council to promote Tagore works from May 9. The promotion, includes a display of the complete Penguin Tagore Bookshelf across all British Council Libraries in nine cities, an exclusive contest with gift hampers and a series of exciting events at local libraries through the year. The books can be purchased from penguinbooksindia.com/tagore.

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