Writer's Institution

Writers Workshop, Kolkata. An institution in IWE for the past fifty years, and an amazing one at that....

Bringing substance to the "Small is Beautiful" credo, Professor P Lal and his crew have essentially been artisans in the process of book-making. Formed by a group of writers "who agree in principle that English has proved its ability, as a language, to play a creative role in Indian literature, through original writing and transcreation. Its task is of defining and substantiating the role by discussion and diffusion of creative writing and transcreation and from India, the Commonwealth, and other English using countries." While publishing close to three thousand books, they remain both fiercely independent, and, in a sense, avant garde. Their books are not mass-produced, they use handwoven fabric in the cloth binding, and they are not afraid to experiment with new authors and new genres. Vikram Seth was an early and famous discovery of theirs, and they, in turn, found an early supporter in J B S Haldane, polymath and polyglot who bought a copy of their 1960 publication of The Catullus of William Hull.

Their books will find their way onto our site, slowly, but surely, and we'll do a post on them. In the meanwhile, here are some random listings that caught our eye....

  • Holmstrom, Lakshmi, The Fiction of R. K. Narayan, Rs 150. (1973)
  • Chaudhuri, Sukanta Bantleman’s “Kanchanjanga” Rs 60 (1969)
  • Aikath-Gyaltsen, Indrani The First Jacaranda, Rs 100 (1984)
  • Merchant, Hoshang Talking to the Djinns, Rs 80 (1997)
  • Divakaruni, Chitra Dark Like the River, Rs 100 (1987)
  • Meena Alexander Without Place, Rs 100 (1978)

and so on....