Publishing/Writing: Insights, News, Intrigue

11/17/2010

More Than Just a Publisher


A great teacher and publisher with a mission in far off India has moved on to higher rewards.

Professor P. Lal fostered a vibrant literary movement in India in the late 1950’s that has grown into a gateway for new Indian writers and translated many great classical Indian works into the English language…He almost single-handedly spurred ‘new age writers of an emerging India to the global literary centrestage…’

P. Lal passed away on Nov 3 at age 81…But, not before leaving a giant footprint.

This from Sify India News:

P. Lal’s demise marks end of an era in publishing

Every year at the Kolkata Book Fair, a gaggle of literary eager-beavers scouting for a door to the literary world would clutch their maiden published volume of poetry or prose bound in trademark red, white or beige cloth with an embroidered stripe running across the length of the jacket.

The cover textiles were sourced from Orissa saris and the title often calligraphed by hand. The design was distinctive and decidedly Indian. The ethnic cover of their books gave them away.

The youngsters’ were part of a vibrant literary movement triggered by Writers’ Workshop – an avant garde Kolkata-based private publishing house. And the man behind the publishing movement, which began in the late 1950s, was Professor Purushottam Lal, who passed away at the age of 81 in Kolkata on Nov 3.

He was a man with a mission – to pitchfork new age writers of an emerging India to the global literary centrestage and translate classical Indian language writing into English.

Some of the Writers’ Workshop beneficiaries – to name a few – are Vikram Seth, Anita Desai, Shasthibrata Chakravarti, Buddhadev Bose, Jayanta Mahapatra and Keki Daruwalla.

The publishing house has 3,500 titles of poetry, novels and drama to its credit till date.

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