Nalak and Shakuntala by Amita Ray
Amita Ray, a former Associate professor in English is based in Kolkata. She is a translator, short story writer, and poet. She has four volumes of translation to her credit, one of which is a collaborative work. Ray is a widely published short story writer, Trail of Love and Longings being her debut collection of short stories. She has also authored a volume of poems Until Birds Sing published in 2022. Her translation of Abanindranath Tagore’s Khirer Putul has been inducted into the postgraduate curriculum of English literature in Burdwan University, West Bengal. This book was also shortlisted for the Sahitya Akademi award for English translation 2022.
Abanindranath Tagore (1871-1951) best known outside Bengal for Rajkahini, the valorous tales from Rajasthan, was a versatile writer who redefined the idea of children’s literature. While keeping the core stories intact from the sources in mythology, history and legend, Abanindra added verve by embedding subtle lessons for the young generations. Amita Ray’s translation of Khirer Putul in 2018 found an appreciative audience and opened up the corpus of Abaninindranath to a large English knowing readership. Her present book which translates Shakuntala(1895), Abanindranath’s maiden novella, and Nalak (1916) written much later, are a welcome expansion to the library. Abanindranath Tagore, an innovator like many others in that remarkable family, experiments with form through the twin devices of image and text. In this foreword, I try to relate the stories, and Amita Ray’s translations, to contemporary themes because only then is the reader’s imagination triggered into an awareness of the continuities of a literary heritage. (Foreword by Prof. Malashri Lal)
ISBN – 978-81-964177-6-5