Date:20/05/2005 URL:

New Delhi

Heralding a `new generation' of Indian authors

Staff Reporter

Plan to make this an annual collection of emerging talent

NEW DELHI: Penguin India on Thursday launched a new anthology, "First Proof", heralding "a new generation of Indian authors".

Quipping that "the main virtue of an anthology is that it caters to those of us with short attention spans'', the Deputy Director of the British Council, Nora Nance, said the new volume "covers a range of touching themes from questions about identity to terrorism and is very much representative of our times''.

Though the Executive Editor of Penguin India, Ravi Singh, said the anthology did not contain "mega names and is designed to introduce a new generation of authors'', contributors include such well known by-lines as External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna, distinguished academician Andre Beteille, former Editor of The Statesman, Sunanda K. Datta-Ray, and Outlook magazine's bureau chief Saba Naqvi Bhaumik.

With "First Proof'', Penguin India launches what is planned to be an yearly collection showcasing emerging talent and writers who have enjoyed acclaim but not as wide a readership as they probably deserve.

Noting the lack of any verse in the collection, Mr. Ravi Singh called for authors to submit written works, be they fiction, reportage, memoirs or works in progress, for the next volume.

The occasion was marked by readings by six authors picked out of a hat.

Mr. Sarna gave an insightful account of relations between two men in an isolated village in rural Bihar and Ms. Bhaumik provided a penetrating piece about the Bihar don Mohammad Shahabuddin who received visitors, a rifle, and was repeatedly elected to Parliament while in jail. Bringing together an assortment of writers, "First Proof'' breaks convention and adopts a novel approach to selection and presentation of collected works.

The volume is divided into two halves. With two front covers, "First Proof'' does not have a back cover.

Opening the book from one end reveals the fiction pieces while starting it from the other end the reader finds the non-fiction contributions.

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