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U.S. publisher acquires rights over Perumal Murugan’s novels

By March 22, 2018No Comments

Source : The Hindu

‘Suitable changes’ to be made to One Part Woman and Poonachi, The Story of a Black Goat


Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s novels – One Part Woman and Poonachi, TheStory of a Black Goat – soon will have a worldwide readership as US-based publisher Grove/Atlantic has acquired the rights for publishing them. The agreement was signed between Kannan Sundaram, publisher of Kalachuvadu Publications Pvt Ltd and Grove/Atlantic.

Mr. Kannan has also completed a deal for publication of One Part Woman in German, Czech and French and Poonachi in Korean.

“I am extremely happy about the arrangement. Though Tamil has been given the honour of the classical language status, we have not adequately translated and published our great literary works, especially modern literature in English. Let it be a beginning,” Mr. Murugan told The Hindu.

Interestingly, a few years ago the writer had to shift base from Namakkal to Chennai following strong threats issued by certain caste groups objecting to his Madhorubhagan (the original Tamil version of One Part Woman). He had quit writing but was “resurrected” by the Madras High Court which upheld his fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression. The US deal was negotiated by Priya Doraswamy at Lotus Lane Literary on behalf of Kannan Sundaram. One Part Woman remained a bestseller since its publication, having sold over 100,000 copies in India in English and other languages. “The publishers, in consultation with the translators of the two books will make suitable changes in American English. More European territories are expected to acquire rights to the books in ensuing months” Mr. Kannan explained.

‘A world-class writer’

One Part Woman was translated into English by Aniruddhan Vasudevan for Penguin and Poonachi by N. Kalyan Raman for Westland-Amazon. The US publication right excludes sale of book in the Indian sub-continent.

“I’m thrilled to be publishing Perumal Murugan. In One Part Woman, he paints a beautiful and poignant portrait of a marriage and vividly brings his part of Tamil Nadu to life. It’s a powerful exploration of caste and identity as well as a moving story of love and family, told with both humor and pathos,” said Peter Blackstock, Senior Editor, Grove Atlantic. He said Poonachi also promised to be equally impressive and imaginative. “Murugan is a world-class writer and I’m overjoyed to have the privilege to bring him to English-language readers outside of India,” said Mr. Blackstock.

Ms. Doraswamy said Murugan’s ability to bring alive Tamil Nadu’s landscape – its people, the land, or the animals he loves so dearly, is remarkable. “His love for and homage to this land, comes alive on the page. The authenticity witnessed in Murugan’s writing, coupled with the poignancy and ethos of his storytelling makes him one of the most important and influential writers of our time,” she added.

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