APN News

  • Thursday, September, 2023| Today's Market | Current Time: 06:22:09
  • Westland Books today announced the release of the first book in a new multi-volume translation of Ponniyin Selvan.  The Tamil classic has been in the news with the release of Mani Ratnam’s movies, PS1 and PS2,starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Trisha Krishnan, Karthi, Vikram and Aishwarya Lekshmi among others.

    Author and award-winning translator Nandini Krishnan said, “So many generations of Tamil-speakers and Tamil-readers have grown up with Ponniyin Selvan that it is quite incredible to think the work didn’t exist seventy-five years ago. I am among a legion of women named for one of its characters. For years, I have been quietly working on the translation, hoping to capture the nuances of Kalki’s writing for the English reader. I’m delighted that the series has found a home with Eka/Westland Books.”

    Karthika VK, Publisher, Westland Books, said, “Nandini’s translation of Ponniyin Selvan is elegant, lyrical, energetic. It embraces the detail and expansiveness of the original text while retaining its pace and depth. I am certain that this timeless epic will find a whole new generation of readers with this translation.”

    About the Book

    The interest that Ponniyin Selvan generated when it was first serialised in Kalki and the manifold increase in the circulation of the magazine saw it published in multiple volumes soon after. Critics used the term ‘Kalki Tamil’ to describe its style where slang alternates with scholarship, wordplay with ecstatic prose and vivid imagery. Kalki’s words are crafted with care, his prose is lyrical and his linguistic manipulations are difficult to move into another tongue. Nandini Krishnan rises to the challenge by going back to the original text and rendering it anew without condensing or paraphrasing the narrative—devices that are apparent in the existing translations. For ease of reading, and because every chapter is a cliffhanger, with plot twists and turns befitting an airport read, each of the original five volumes has been divided further, into shorter books that are easy to hold and carry around.

    Book One, The First Flood, introduces us to the world of the Cholas and quite incredibly marries a page-turner of a story with travelogue and history.

    About the Author

    ‘Kalki’ is the pen name of Ramaswamy Krishnamurthy (1899- 1954), whose career in writing and journalism began as activism during the struggle for Indian independence. He served as editor of the popular Tamil magazine Ananda Vikatan before launching Kalki. The magazine—and eventually its founder—was named for the mythological tenth avatar of Vishnu to symbolise a vision to ‘destroy regressive regimes, express radical thoughts, take readers into new directions, and create a new era’. Kalki wrote several novels, including Parthiban Kanavu and Sivakamiyin Sabadam, as well as political essays, film reviews, dance and music critiques, and scholarly work.

    About the Translator

    Nandini Krishnan is the author of Hitched: The Modern Woman and Arranged Marriage and Invisible Men: Inside India’s Transmasculine Networks. She has translated two of Perumal Murugan’s works into English: Estuary and Four Strokes of Luck. She was shortlisted for the PEN Presents translation prize 2022 and the Ali Jawad Zaidi Memorial Prize for translation from Urdu 2022. She is an alumna of the Writer’s Bloc playwrights’ workshop by the Royal Court Theatre, London. Her novel-in-manuscript was a winner of the Caravan Writers of India Festival contest and showcased at the Writers of the World Festival, Paris, 2014.–


    Leave a Reply