An unfortunate reality is that every language has great writers who have faded from the collective memory; either they fell out of favour, or their writing spoke only to their time, or perhaps they practiced on the margins, and their work never made it beyond a small readership. Difficulties in categorising a writer’s work is especially likely to put them in peril—writing that doesn’t fit neatly into one particular genre or tradition is easier to overlook than to perpetually seek its niche. And when these writings are forgotten, a small miracle needs to occur for them to be rediscovered again.
For the first time, English language readers will have the opportunity to read forgotten Hindi writers thanks to a new and, arguably, miraculous series from Seagull Books, based in Kolkata. First to be published are short story collections by Bhuvaneshwar and Rajkamal Chaudhary, names which may be unfamiliar to readers in their native India, let alone to readers beyond. Wolves and Other Short Stories by Bhuwaneshwar will be released in Fall 2020, and Traces of Boots on Tongue and Other Stories by Rajkamal Chaudhary is due for release in early 2021.