“There is no surer foundation for a beautiful relationship than a mutual taste in literature”.
Literature is the pure language of heart. It denotes the signs of passion. It weaves the magic of imagination. Painting the true forms of passion, the art in literature has so far held aloft the true values of humanity. Literature in the far-flung territories of north-east of India is the superb rendition of the cultural ethos and glorious heritage. In the last decades, Assam produced outstanding litterateurs, who have penned down tours de force in local and English languages. Undoubtedly, the brilliant writers from the seven sister states have composed some of the enduring classics in the local languages in contemporary times. While the magnum opuses in the local languages have flourished, the pen has not stopped only at the local languages. The writers have come up with jewels in new compositions of prose and poetry, which have become landmarks of Indian writing in English. The opulence in natural riches has everlastingly brought fertility in imagination.
Some of the best-known names in English writing in north-east are given under.
As a boy from Shillong-the capital city of Meghalaya- Dhuba Hazarika is a familiar name in Indian writing in English. A graduate from St. Edmund College, he opted for studying Economics in North-eastern Hill University. Serving as an officer in Indian Administrative Service, he was posted in different important positions. His literary career began with the novel-Bowstring Winter- in the year 2006. In his unmatched and path breaking style of story-telling, he grips the imagination of readers in an unconventional way only to reach a dramatic climax. His second novel- Sons of Brahma- is another milestone in Indian writing in English that was published in the year 2014. The work makes a portrayal of dark world of underground and a group of ruthless government officials. His name also features among the top-rated short-story writers in the country. Published by Penguin India, both the books are factually milestones in Indian literature.
Arup Kumar Dutta
The list of illustrious writers would become incomplete without the name of Arup Kumar Dutta. The eminent journalist and writer authored several adventure novels and fourteen works for adults. For his overwhelming flair in writing, he was given The Life Time Achievement Honor by Association of Writers and Illustrators in the year 2014. Besides this, he has also won several prizes, which include Shankar Award in the year 1979.
Related: New generation of storytellers
Mamang Dai- a journalist, author, poet, and former civil servant hails from Itanagar-the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh. With her debut anthology of poetry, River Poems, she rose to instant success in the world of Indian literature. Author of the other brilliant works like Arunachal Pradesh: The Hidden Land, Legends of Pensam, Once upon a Moontime: From the Magical Story World of Arunachal Pradesh, The Sky Queen, Stupid Cupid, and Mountain Harvest: The Food of Arunachal Pradesh. Her books hold a vivid picture of brooks, mountains, and events in the folk culture in Arunachal Pradesh.
Her work held the Assam agitation in the seventies and eighties in the background, when she penned her debut novel- “The Collector’s Wife” in the year 2005. The novel held the distinction of being a classic of first generation writing by an Assamese authoress, which was published by an international house. She is the one among the few to author many successful works for children as she was crowned with UNICEF-CBT award in the year 1986. The path-breaking book for Children, Mamoni’s adventure, set the tenor for new generation of writing in English for the children.
Growing up in a tiny township in north-east, this prolific writer went to United States after getting selected for a fellowship in Columbia. Back in India after a gap of six years as an under-cover reporter in “The Guardian”, he took to working in a call center in New Delhi.He began working on his work-“the Beautiful and the Damned: life in new India”. Travelling extensively throughout India, the writer flourished in his prosaic narratives in the work that painted a compelling, lyrical, and sensitive portrayal about life in call center, while the Indian society was caught in the whirlpool of cataclysmic changes after the economic liberalization. The successive years saw him writing more in fictions and non-fictions. The works won him laurels as the first book “The Beautiful and The Damned- Life in new India” got the PEN/Open book award in the year 2012 as the book was short-listed for Orwell Prize in the same year.