TBR Recommends – January 2022

Complete Late Poetry of Jean-Joesph Rabearivelo translated from Malagasy and French into English by Leonard Fox
The Edwin Mellen Press, USA; 394pp; poetry/ translation

Jean Joseph Rabearivelo is considered to be the greatest poet of Madagascar and the first modern poet of Africa. He wrote poetry in both in Malagasy and French. His poems show a complete mastery of language and unparalleled poetic sense.  This book will be a valuable addition to the poetry lovers and introduce the works of a great African/Indian Ocean/Malagasy poet whose poetic work is not very well-known in India.

Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas or Epitaph of a Small Winner by Joaquim Maria Machao de Assis translated from Portuguese into English by Gregory Rabassa
Oxford University Press; 240pp; fiction

The book is narrated by Bras Cubas after his death reflecting upon key events of his life.  Written in a unique style with chapters of irregular length, the book is a masterpiece of satire. First published in 1881, it seems it was written yesterday. The readers in India will find the book especially appealing.

Map: Collected and last poems by Wislawa Szymborska, translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak
Mariner Books, USA; 464pp; poem/translation 

This collection brings together poems of one of the finest poets of our times, from her unpublished works in 1944 upto her last poem ‘Map’ written before her death in 2012. Szymborska is my all time favourite poet because of her ability to show extraordinary in mundane, light in darkness, and humour in prevailing mood of gloom and doom. 

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Abhay K

Abhay K. is the author of nine poetry collections including The Magic of Madagascar (L’Harmattan Paris, 2021), The Alphabets of Latin America(Bloomsbury India, 2020), and the editor of The Book of Bihari Literature (Harper Collins, 2022), The Bloomsbury Anthology of Great Indian Poems, CAPITALS, New Brazilian Poems and The Bloomsbury Book of Great Indian Love Poems. His poems have appeared in over 100 literary magazines including Poetry Salzburg Review, Asia Literary Review among others. His 'Earth Anthem' has been translated into over 140 languages. He received SAARC Literary Award 2013 and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington DC in 2018. His forthcoming book-length poem is titled Monsoon. His translations of Kalidasa's Meghaduta (Bloomsbury India, 2021) and Ritusamhara (Bloomsbury India, 2021) from Sanskrit, have won KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award 2020-21.