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Indian writers to visit University of Texas at Austin

Three acclaimed writers from India will visit the Center for Asian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin Oct. 6-7. C. S. Lakshmi, M. T. Vasudevan Nair and Sunil Gangopadhyay will participate in a two-day conference, “One River, Many Streams: Writing from India 2000.” The conference will include academic sessions on translation and Indian writing, as well as readings from the authors’ works in Tamil, Bengali and Malayalam.

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AUSTIN, Texas —Three acclaimed writers from India will visit the Center for Asian Studies at The University of Texas at Austin Oct. 6-7. C. S. Lakshmi, M. T. Vasudevan Nair and Sunil Gangopadhyay will participate in a two-day conference, “One River, Many Streams: Writing from India 2000.” The conference will include academic sessions on translation and Indian writing, as well as readings from the authors’ works in Tamil, Bengali and Malayalam.

The academic sessions are free and open to the public.

The three writers are renowned within their own regions of India as well as abroad. Lakshmi writes in Tamil under the pen name “Ambai.” Her emotionally complex short stories reflect facets of womanly experience in daily life. A Purple Sea,an anthology of her work in English, appeared in 1992. In 1984, Lakshmi published an acclaimed critical work, The Face Behind the Mask,a study of images of women in modern Tamil fiction. She directs SPARROW, a Sound and Picture Archives for Research on Women, based in Bombay.

Nair is acknowledged as one of India’s outstanding living writers. He has published 17 volumes of short stories, eight novels and a play, as well as nine other books of criticism, travelogues and stories for children. In 1996, he received the Jnanpith Award, India’s highest literary honor. Nair also is an award-winning filmmaker and director. He writes in Malayalam, and has won several prizes from the Kerala Literary Academy.

Gangopadhyay is a prolific poet, journalist, novelist, scriptwriter and dramatist. He writes in Bengali on many diverse themes, from intense romantic love to political and religious violence. His fiction was transformed for the screen by the acclaimed directors Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen. Gangopadhyay won the 1985 Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Sei Samay. He has also written many well-known books for children.

The writers will discuss aspects of problems in translation Oct. 6 with UT Asian Studies faculty and visiting scholars Dr. Norman Cutler (University of Chicago) and Dr. Suchitra Samanta (Hollins University). Geeta Dharmarajan will accompany the writers. Dharmarajan is executive director of Katha, a non-profit organization based in New Delhi.

The Oct. 6 academic session will run from 1-5 p.m. in the Meyerson Conference Room on the fourth floor of the W. C. Hogg Building. The Oct. 7 session is scheduled from 1-5 p.m. in the Knopf Room on the fourth floor of the Flawn Academic Center, where the three writers, guests and UT faculty will read from their works in original languages as well as in English translation.

For further information, call the Center for Asian Studies at 471-5811. The event is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Liberal Arts, the Indian Council on Cultural Relations and Air India.