We had a wonderful time in Delhi for last week's launch of four Jasusi Dunya novels by Ibne Safi, translated by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, and co-published by the good people at Tranquebar Press in India. Buy them here!
We were all very happy that Ibne Safi's son, Ahmad Safi, was at the last minute able to get his visa and come from Karachi via Dubai to Delhi to attend the function--his first time visiting India. Unfortunately, the authorities didn't let him leave Delhi to visit his father's native Allahabad... but it was great to have him at the launch, at least. (Also great to join him at Karim's the next day for a lunch worthy of the gluttonous Jasusi Dunya character Qasim. Om nom nom.)
Our illustrious translator, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, was there at the launch too, as were a bunch of Safi family friends, avid Jasusi Dunya fans who knew the stories in and out, and assorted other cool people. A big thanks to all who attended, and to all those who have been helping to spread the word about the books.
The Safi novels have also gone on sale as eBooks outside India... you can buy them for the Kindle from the Amazon store or in EPUB format from Lulu.com. We think this makes Ibne Safi the second ever Urdu author, after Ghalib, to be available in translation in eBook format. We like to think Colonel Faridi would approve.
The Unstoppable Awesomeness of Kuzhali Manickavel
In other news, Kuzhali Manickavel did an interview at Sepia Mutiny a couple of weeks back which was awesome 1) because it gave a nice little bump to US sales of her book and 2) because she managed to work in a link to the best song video in the history of the universe, which of course is "Dheega Dheega" from Suriyan Satta Kaloori, sung by the reigning goddess of Tamil folk song, Chinnaponnu (go out and buy all her CDs right now!!) with lyrics and music direction by Deva, and featuring the maddeningly beautiful Aarthi as the lead dancer. How we wish someone would upload a higher-res version. At least, you can read the lyrics.
For those of you who are saddened by the fact that Kuzhali is taking the month off from her fabulous blog, here is a happy rumour: a brand new Kuzhali story is set to go on sale as a special edition eChapbook early in May.
Miscellaneous Other Stuff
- The Hindu's Bangalore edition did a nice write-up on Tamil pulp author Rajesh Kumar, who is probably the most prolific author in the world. Interesting story of the genesis of Rubella.
- More Tamil pulp author achievements: writer duo Suba (a.k.a. Suresh and Balakrishna), who were featured in our first anthology, have written the screenplay to the new Tamil blockbuster film Ko, which has opened to good reviews.
- Sarnath Banerjee stopped by Chennai last week to promote his new book (which is pretty great: read it) and was interviewed at the Blaft office by a guy who was nice enough to mention our dog twice in his article. The bad guitar playing was my fault.
- The April issue of the literary journal Asymptote is up--entirely devoted to translation--and there is lots of amazing stuff in it, like this trippy play by Han Lao Da.