An English translation of author Buddhisagar’s debut novel, Karnali Blues (2010), is coming out in December this year. The book, translated by Michael Hutt, is being published by Penguin Random House India.
Meru Gorkhale, publisher at the Penguin, confirmed the publication via Twitter, heaping praise on the book as “one of the most beautiful depictions of childhood I have ever read”.
“What. A. Book.,” Gorkhale tweeted. “One of the most beautiful depictions of childhood I have ever read, in manuscript. ‘Karnali Blues’ by @Buddhisagar is about a father-son relationship, and is a huge bestseller in Nepali … mesmerised by the English translation. Out from @PenguinIndia in December.”
Karnali Blues, one of the most notable modern Nepali books in the social realism genre, explores the father-son relationship dynamics seen through its narrator-protagonist, who recounts his memories of his father as he grows up.
Karnali Blues thrusted Buddhisagar, a former journalist and poet, into literary limelight. He has gone on to publish one more novel, Phirphire, and his third is reportedly coming out this year.
Karnali Blues remains his best-known book. The book is set in the rural far west, where the protagonist’s family migrated from a village in craggy hills to a more urban setting in search of better economic opportunity. The book struck a nerve with Nepali audience when it came out, with one reviewer hailing the book as “sophisticated in structure and ethnographically and linguistically rich in content”.
One can sample a chapter from the book’s English translation here.