Here are the Sahitya Akademi award-winning short stories by one of the great masters of Hindi fiction. In a literary career spanning over forty years, Nirmal Verma is credited with inventing the Hindi language anew. It is fascinating to see how his delicately sensuous language handles the themes of alienation and exile on the one hand, and philosophical issues of renunciation and suicide on the other.
"The tone and mood of Nirmal Verma's writings are reminiscent of Montale's poetry; gently fatalistic, affectionately disposed, narrowly focused and circumscribed. He brings character and place alive with the true short-story writer's economy. His peculiarly Indian gloom lends a sense of poetic mystery and impermanence to the relationships he writes about."
"What makes Nirmal Verma's stories remarkable is restraint with which desolation is lightened by laughter, despair by glimmers of hope. His work, like Chekhov's, allows the flow of life to find its own form in art."
About the Author
Nirmal Verma (b. 3rd April 1929) did his M. A. in History at Delhi University. In 1958, he published his short story Parinde, which is considered the pioneer of the Nai Kahani movement in Hindi literature today. From 1959 to 1967, Verma lived in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where he initiated a programme of translation of Modern Czech writers into Hindi at the Oriental institute. His important works include four novels, several collections of short stories, essays and travelogues.
He is the recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award (1986), Sadhana Samman (1994), Ram Manohar Lohia award (1995) and Murtidevi Puraskar of Bharatiya Jnanpith (1997). In 1996, he was nominated for the well-known Neustaud award of the University of Oklahoma, instituted by the magazine The World Literature.
The Last Exit is an English translation of his Sahitya Akademi Award-winning collection of stories in Hindi, entitled Kavve aur Kala Pani.
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