Novelist Giri Hegde is back with his latest volume

Giri Hegde, a speech scientist who took the Kannada literary world by storm with his novel ‘Gati-Sthiti’ in 1971 is back. After a long pause of over four decades, broken only by a translation of Kafka, Mr. Hegde has returned to creative writing with a new zeal, publishing four short stories in the last six months.

‘Gati-Sthiti’ was hailed as a major novel of the Navya movement in Kannada literature. Jnanapeetha awardee U. R. Ananthmurthy had called the book a treatment given to Kannada language. Mr. Hegde went on to become a professor at the California State University where he worked for 30 years and is now retired.

His collected works which include two novels, ‘Gati-Sthiti’ and ‘Kandaddu-Kanaddu’, ‘Roopantara’, a translation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, five short stories written in the early 1960s and four recent ones released as ‘Gati Sthiti Mattella’ by Akruti Books on Sunday.

The author, who was in town for the release of his book, told The Hindu that he was happy to return to creative writing and hoped that this phase would continue. On the long hiatus, he said: “Once I moved to the United States, professional writing took over and I was overwhelmed by the research I was involved in. Literature, as a result, took a back seat.” Mr. Hegde has authored more than 25 books on speech science and behavioural science.

An offer from a publisher to bring out his collected works made him take a relook at his fiction.

“It was a great experience that I relived my fictional space – an imagined reality,” he said.

He said it was for the critics to see in what way his fiction had changed in these forty years and added that till date, all his fiction was borne out of his experiences in India and now he wanted to draw from his experiences in the United States.

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