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The Puffin Treasury of Modern Indian Stories

The Puffin Treasury of Modern Indian Stories
Item Code: NAU054
Author: Mala Dayal
Publisher: Puffin Books
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2015
ISBN: 9780143333838
Pages: 194 ( Throughout Coloured Illustrations )
Other Details: 10.00 X 8.00 inch
weight of the book: 0.52 kg

An introduction to an anthology of stories for children, broadly between the ages of eight and twelve, is perhaps dispensable as it is unlikely to be read by them. Nevertheless, some explanation for the selection in this volume seems necessary. Unlike literature for children In many countries, in India there is very little material specifically designed for them which has delighted successive generations and is also enjoyed by children today. Here, stories that have gone down from grandparent to parent to child are mostly from the Epics, myths, legends and folktales, the Panchatantra, Jatakas, Kathasaritsagara and the Hitopadesha. So instead of taking excerpts, most of the stories in this volume stand on their own: only a few have been extracted from novels of well-known writers like R.K. Narayan’s Swami and Friends, Salman Rushdie’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories, and Dhan Gopal Mukerji’s Gay-Neck: The Story of a Pigeon.

The main aim of The Puffin Treasury of Modern Indian Stories is to offer some of the best Indian children’s fiction available in English. All the authors included are renowned storytellers whose imagination, skill, elegant prose and wit have won them acclaim and awards. They have also given us stories for children which will endure for times to come. A few translations are included. Very little children’s fiction from the Indian languages has been rendered into English. Of the published material, good translations are hard to come by.

I have also done my best to include as wide a range of themes as I could. So we have a ghost story, fantasies, humour, historical fiction, real-life incidents, those that sensitively explore the inner world of the child, the serious, the light-hearted and the whimsical.

The book is profusely illustrated by some of India’s most talented artists, who have complemented and enlivened the twenty-one selected works. As the stories showcase the best of English fiction for children in India, the illustrations showcase the skill and versatility of Indian illustrators.

Poverty, inequality, communal tension, degradation of the environment confront today’s children. This collection also reflects these concerns, deftly and subtly. Faced with a complex environment, the Indian child cannot be a passive observer but is constantly questioning. I conclude this Introduction with one of my favourite pieces written by Mahasweta Devi when she was sitting across the table in my room: ‘The Why-Why Girl’. Even if children are se. reluctant readers of introductions, I am sure that those who a a have got thus far will relish our why-why girl.

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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