By Manoranjan Byapari
Translated by Arunava Sinha
The Paradise of Food is a celebration of human spirit, hope, loss, aspirations, and anxiety. It is a fine artistic achievement where aesthetics negotiates a difficult political trajectory that is haunting our country. The carnivalesque element makes this a modern fable.
This rare, beautiful book achieves, with exquisite, startling, singing prose, what few others have in recent and not-so-recent-years-a microscopic yet epic exploration of humanity in all its ugliness and beauty, its cruelty and kindnesses, its silliness and wisdom. I was left amazed, enthralled, thrilled.
This singular and moving book shines a scintillating light on the violence at the heart of human civilization. The language contains several beautiful and unusual formulations that are a literary achievement by both the author and the extremely skilled translator. A literary landmark in a less celebrated genre of Urdu’s grand literary tradition, this work deserves to be widely read in India and beyond.
The Paradise of Food works like a powerful ice-pick in the winter of civilizational crisis that has engulfed the countries of South Asia. And it does this by mobilising the poetic powers of Urdu, placing liberation above nation-building, which we think is the work of a novel. The translation is perfect and inspired.
A book of indescribable brilliance, Khalid Jawed's The Paradise of Food blazes a trail and redefines the contemporary Indian novel. Beauty and horror, sacred and profane, the book attracts and repels us as we turn each page. Our understanding of the personal and political intersect through the food and kitchen in the most unforgettable ways.
Explore the books
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Translated by Sabika Abbas Naqvi
By Easterine Kire
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By Manoranjan Byapari
Translated by Arunava Sinha
By Chuden Kabimo
Translated by Ajit Baral
By Geetanjali Shree
Translated by Daisy Rockwell
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A distinguished jury from diverse backgrounds brings forth the Longlist, Shortlist and Winner of the JCB Prize for Literature, year on year.
Journalist, Editor and Columnist(Chair)
AS Panneerselvan (Chair) is an Indian journalist, editor and columnist. He heads the Centre for Study in Public Sphere, Roja Muthiah Research Library in Chennai. He is also the author of Karunanidhi: A Life, his definitive biography of M Karunanidhi, and the editor of an anthology of essays produced by journalist fellows, Uncertain Journeys. In 2022, the Government of Tamil Nadu has conferred him with the GU Pope Award for his literary contributions. In his extensive career in the media, he has worked with several prestigious media houses and networks, including the Sun Network, Outlook magazine, the Hindu, amongst others. His next book is the Periodic Table of Tamil Modernity: 1858 to 1968.
Academician and Author
Rakhee Balaram is an Assistant Professor of Global Art & Art History at the University of Albany, State University of New York, where she specializes in modern and contemporary art. She is the author of Counterpractice: Psychoanalysis, Politics and the Art of French Feminism and 20th-Century Indian Art: Modern, Post-Independence, Contemporary. Her curatorial work includes Fragility, an exhibition of contemporary Indian art. Her research has been supported by the Art Histories Fellowship in Berlin, the ICI Berlin Institute of Cultural Inquiry, and the Tata SPEAR grant, among others. Balaram holds double doctorates in French Literature from Cambridge University and History of Art from The Courtauld Institute of Art.
Amitabha Bagchi is the author of four novels. The first, Above Average, was a bestseller. His second novel, The Householder, was published to critical acclaim, the third, This Place, was shortlisted for the Raymond Crossword Book Award 2014, and the fourth, Half the Night is Gone, won the 2019 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was shortlisted for the 2018 JCB Prize for Literature. He has written and published several research papers over his extensive career as a researcher and professor, specialising in Computer Science.
Historian and Translator
Dr J Devika is a historian, feminist, social critic and academician. She currently researches and teaches at the Centre for Development Studies. She has authored several books and articles on gender, politics, social reforms and development in Kerala on publications like Kafila, Economic and Political Weekly and The Wire. She has translated both fiction and non-fiction books between Malayalam and English, including the translation of Nalini Jameela's autobiography and the short stories of KR Meera and Sarah Joseph.
Janice Pariat is the author of The Nine-Chambered Heart , Boats on Land: A Collection of Short Stories and Seahorse: A Novel. She was awarded the Young Writer Award from the Sahitya Akademi and the Crossword Book Award for Fiction in 2013. In 2014, she was the Charles Wallace Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Kent, UK, and a Writer in Residence at the TOJI Residency in South Korea in 2019. Janice also teaches Creative Writing and Art History at Ashoka University. Her novel Everything the Light Touches is forthcoming.