There are great writers in Hindi who have been lost to the past, who have faded from collective memory, whose miraculous and uncategorizable works have never been translated into English. My ongoing project Forgotten Writers of Hindi is an attempt to rediscover writers from the past and to bring to them to a wider international readership. Under this project, I translate Hindi writers whose experimental works have either fallen out of favour over time or works which have not had a chance to go beyond the local readership.
Translation as Séance, my interview with Asymptote Journal on the project:
Under the project, I have published two book length translations:
- Wolves and other stories, Bhuwaneshwar, 2021, Seagull Books.
Shortlisted for PFC-VoW award for translation, 2022
“Saudamini Deo’s English translation of short stories by Bhuwaneshwar Prasad marks a significant event in Hindi literature. […] Like all translations, Wolves and Other Stories is an act of renewal and resurrection, but unlike most translations, it is also an act of reparation, of righting an error. The present collection of Bhuwaneshwar’s 12 short stories, translated into English for the first time, comes across as one of those few gratifying instances of belated literary justice made possible through translation.”
Translation As Reparation, S. Deepika, The Book Review India
Wolves, Words without Borders
Aunty, Hindustan Times
2. Traces of Boots on Tongue and other short stories, Rajkamal Chaudhary, forthcoming in April 2023, Seagull Books.
Featured in the list of 12 Must-read Books, Chicago Review of Books
“The author Rajkamal Choudhary’s short stories, originally written in Hindi and scheduled to be published by Kolkata-based Seagull Books this fall, in a translation by Saudamini Deo, are an important example of what Zacharia spoke about. While Choudhary’s works have never been translated into English, he is well known in India for his avant-garde writing and association with the Hungryalist movement in Bengali literature. This literary movement aimed to disrupt the structures of the perceived canon in postcolonial India, and has been compared to the Beat generation in the United States or the work of Latin American surrealists like Octavio Paz.”
Weekly Dispatches from the Front Lines of Literature, Asymptote Journal
A Faded Souvenir of Forgotten Past, Outlook India