It is not very often that fiction crosses the border from Pakistan to India, especially, to be translated into a south Indian language. The collection of short stories translated into Malayalam, soon to be brought out by DC Books here, attracts one’s attention for other reasons as well. There are nine short-stories included in the collection, all of them authored by young and promising women story tellers from Pakistan.
The collection is christened as ‘Jeans,’ which is also title of a story by Qaisra Shahraz that is included in the collection.
While most of the writers included in ‘Jeans’ live in Pakistan, some also write from Europe and the United States. Besides dealing with the women’s issues in Pakistan, the stories also dwell on the socio-political and cultural conflicts entangled with the unique identity and ethos of the nation.
Stories such as ‘Navu’ (Tongue) by Nighat Hassan and ‘Manalkallukalkkappuram’ (Beyond the Sandstones) by Sehba Sarwar, come up with clearly comprehensible socio-political undertones.
Introducing the collection, noted poet K. Satchidanandan said: “The nine stories of ‘Jeans’ present before the readers the inner conflicts and paradoxes of the Pakistani society in a brilliant and analytical way. They also stand as a testimony to the boldness, critical mindedness and the analytical acumen of the Pakistani women writers.
K.P. Premkumar, who collected and translated the work, said that he settled on the writers and the titles after consulting with critics and experts on the Pakistani literature. According to him all the stories were originally written in English and were representative of the contemporary Pakistani-English women writings.
This is the fourth translated work of Mr. Premkumar, who is at present a research fellow at the University of Calicut.
A.V. Sreekumar, Publication Manager, DC Books, said the book will be released during the Kochi International Book Fair in the last week of January.