Penguin to publish 3 novels by award-winning Malayalam author VJ James
New Delhi, October 2 (IANS): Penguin Random House India announced on Saturday that it has acquired three new titles from critically acclaimed Malayalam writer VJ James, which will be translated into English by Ministhy S. and whose first novel will be released in February 2022.
Most recently, the richest and one of the most distinguished awards in literary fiction, the JCB Prize for Literature, was on the long list for James’ novel “Anti-Clock”, also translated by Ministhy and published by Penguin .
“Nireeswaran” is James’ most famous work, for which he received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award, the Vayalar Award, the Kerala Bhasha Institute Award and the Basheer Puruskaram.
Originally published in 2014, the novel questions blind faith and ritualistic religion and provides insight into what true spirituality is. Three rationalists and pranksters establish the idol of what they call an anti-god (Nireeswaran) to show people how hollow their religion is. When miracles begin to be attributed to Nireeswaran and hordes show up to worship the false god, the trio are put in a dilemma. Will they fight their own creation? Using incisive humor and satire, the novel shows how deeply interconnected love and spirituality are.
“The Book of Exodus” is the impressive debut novel by James, which won the DC Silver Jubilee Award. Kunjootty is hospitalized the same day Susanna goes missing. There is a mystery around this which unfolds in the course of the novel. Filled with folklore and myths, set amongst the streams and reeds of the Kerala Islands, and populated by locals and strangers with mysterious pasts, the novel has an ethereal quality.
The third book is a powerhouse of a novel.
Mahesh and his four friends – each named after a Pandava brother – and Panchali, or Meera, decide to search for their friend, guide, leader Freddie Robert, whom they had named Yudhisthira. Freddie had disappeared in the forest several months ago, looking for a rare new bird. Thus begins “Dattapaharam”, a rumination on loneliness, the connection of man with nature, and the strings that bind us to this world.
Speaking about his three novels, VJ James said: “It is with pleasure that I publish three more novels after ‘Anti-Clock’ via Penguin Random House India, brilliantly translated by Ministhy S. There is a saying that every book will find its true reader. I hope these books also find their readers. “
Saying that she considered it a “real privilege” to work with a “brilliant and visionary” author, Ministhy S., an IAS officer in the Uttar Pradesh cadre, added: “Translating the fantastic books and many James’ award winning times was a wonderful experience. Each has a totally different theme and is striking in its ambition and style. Indeed, I have no doubts that the incisive humor, deep spirituality, iconoclastic perspectives, and the humanity that pervades the books will find fans across the globe. “