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No Presents Please - Mumbai Stories - cover

No Presents Please - Mumbai Stories

Jayant Kaikini

Translator Tejaswini Niranjana

Publisher: Catapult

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Summary

No Presents Please is for fans of short fiction and writers like Teju Cole, Bryan Washington, or John Cheever. It is also the first time this important Indian writer has been published in North America
Translated from Kannada (the Indian language has roughly 45 million native speakers, largely in the state of Karnataka, where the largest city is Bangalore) by Tejaswini Niranjana, Jayant Kaikini’s stories in the collection No Presents Please is driven by images and metaphors from the simple, day-to-day routine of life, and "cast[s] an unnerving glance on Mumbai and its people. Kaikini’s creations are unique, albeit deeply embedded in the ordinary" (LiveMint.com)
With its peppering of words in Marathi, Hindi, Kannada, and other Indian languages in many of the stories, and with the sounds of trains, trucks, traffic, ocean breezes, food vendors and more, the city of Mumbai comes alive in the soundscape Kaikini describes as much as in the characters he writes
The author and his translator have been friends for 4 decades, but other than meeting to discuss the retention of Mumbai expressions like "khalaas" (finished) and "kaalipeeli" (taxi), they did not collaborate on the translation
Kaikini is a biochemist by training and worked with pharmaceutical companies in Mumbai for two decades before moving to Bangalore, India. He is a prolific writer of fiction and popular film songs
Kaikini has a wonderfully strong point of view on the value and purposes of fiction. In an interview with The Times of India he writes, "Literature cannot come from a privileged position. [It] comes from restlessness, vulnerability and naked space of the underprivileged"
Acquired by Catapult editor Megha Majumdar (The Ungrateful Refugee, Night Theater)



 
Bookseller Praise for No Presents Please

 
"This wonderful collection of Jayant Kaikini's short stories introduces us to the lives of ordinary people living in Mumbai. Masterfully translated by Tejaswini Niranjana, these stories will transport you to another place, though the people you meet will feel like friends." —Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music (Millerton, NY)

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