The last post for 2010 is on a theme we are inordinately fond of... Fiction, Poetry, Essays, Northeast India... all coming together in the two volumes of Tilottoma Misra's The Oxford Anthology of Writings from North-East India.
Dr. Tilottoma Misra was formerly Professor, Department of English, Dibrugarh University, Assam. Covering almost 60 years (since early 1950s) of literary activity, this two-volume anthology includes fiction, poetry, and essays by some of the leading writers from North-East India, comprising the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Tripura. Offering a judicious selection of writers from three generations of the post-Independence era, the state-wise arrangement allows a comparative analysis of the development of literature in the region. Alongside established practitioners, the anthology includes pioneering works that show a new awareness about the emerging social and intellectual concerns in the region.
- Volume I includes 32 pieces by 31 writers representing some of the best fiction writing from the region. Contemporary issues such as violence perpetrated by various militant outfits and in the form of counter-insurgency operations by the armed forces and human endurance in the light of these are some of the dominant themes of fiction writing included in this volume. Divided into seven sections, in this volume we come across some of the most celebrated practitioners of the genre. In Lummer Dai and Yeshe Dorjee Thongchi, we find the first generation of fiction writers from Arunachal Pradesh, who through their writings sensitively questioned the values represented by the traditional institutions that gave little space to the voices of the youth and the women. Alongside these master architects features Mamang Dai, a contemporary literary voice from the region. Including some new translations commissioned especially for the project, the volume comes with a comprehensive Introduction by Tilottoma Misra that traces the roots of the literature of the North-East.
- Volume II is divided into two sections. Arranged state-wise, Section I includes 85 poems by poets who initiated new trends in the modern poetry of the region. Section II includes 15 essays, which range from the philosophical to the analytical and the descriptive, and discuss the various aspects of literature and culture of the region. They deal with the literature and culture of particular ethnic or linguistic groups of the North-East, along with studies that reflect on the different dimensions of the multi-ethnic and multilingual cultures of the region. Including some new translations commissioned especially for the project, the volume comes with a comprehensive Introduction by Tilottoma Misra that traces the roots of the literature of the North-East.