Print Edition - 2016-02-18  |  Life & Style

Of a Lesser God hits shelves

- Timothy Aryal, Kathmandu

Feb 18, 2016-

Maya Thakuri’s new anthology of short stories—Of A Lesser God, a collection of 20 short stories—was launched amid a ceremony held at the Theatre Village, Uttardhoka, Lazimpat, on Wednesday. The stories in the collection, translated by Damodar Sharma and edited by Greta Rana, are the English renditions of some of Thakuri’s best known Nepali short stories.

The event saw the presence of the scholars and personalities from the pantheon of Nepali literature such as Professor Sanjeev Uprety, Greta Rana, Nayan Raj Pandey, Dr Mina Singh, and Saguna Shah, among others; where they discussed the art of translation, especially the process of translating Nepali into English; the speakers also talked about Thakuri’s career and her stories. 

The book launch was preceded by Darwin Lungeli’s rendition of Bipul Chhetri’s hit single Ram Shailee. 

Speaking during the event, the author of English rendition of Diamond Shumsher’s Seto Bagh, Greta Rana, spoke of how the book was named. “ We were set to call the book Children Of A Lesser God, but later settled on Of A Lesser God. The stories have many women characters in it. Women have always been the children of a lesser god. And those are the characters that Maya writes about,” said Rana. 

Meanwhile, Saguna Shah, founder of the online book discussion page Bookaholics, discussed the themes the anthology pivots around. “The stories deal will issues such as sexuality, the role gender plays in Nepali society, and the psychological turmoil of the characters…Thakuri’s characters are the downtrodden tangled up in the complexities of culture, traditions and societal norms,” said Shah. “The anthology is a mouthpiece of unheard voices,” she concluded.

Likewise, Dr Amina Singh, visiting faculty member at Kathmandu University School of Education (KUSEOD), had a scholarly take on the book. “Although I feel a particular unease while reading books written about Nepal in English, I didn’t feel so while reading Of A Lesser Way,” said Singh. “However, the language struck me as a bit formal. I liked the way the narrative is woven without presenting any judgments on its characters… The anthology has a realistic take on the experiences of a myriad characters,” added Singh.

“The stories are fine examples of literary realism and seem to be veering towards psychological realism,” said Sanjeev Uprety, speaking during the event.

The book has been published by Akshar Creations. 

Published: 18-02-2016 07:59

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