What is it about Partition that inspires an unceasing stream of books? First, it was the generation of writers that experienced the trauma, now it’s midnight’s children, who are either translating the old classic Partition fare or writing their own version of it. The latest arrivals are Katha’s Translating Partition edited by Ravikant and Tarun K. Saint, and Joginder Paul’s Sleepwalkers, translated by Sunil Trivedi and Sukrita Paul Kumar. Penguin India also launched an old classic, Azadi, by Chaman Nahal. Says Nahal: "The Partition is a metaphor for the prejudices and hatred created by artificial borders. That’s why it’s a timeless story."
What every Indian writer dreams of is an American publisher, whose fat advances are now legendary. But it’s one dream that is eluding Ruchir Joshi who is still struggling to interest publishers in the US to take up his Last Jet-Engine Laugh. Whether it’s because, as Ruchir explains, the novel is so different from the usual Indian novel, or its liberal sprinkling of Bangla and Gujju slang, the US publishers just ain’t biting. One thing’s for sure, though: srikhand will never again taste the same after Ruchir’s "seminal contribution"!