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Amrita Pritam and the Pain of the Partition: Nirupama Dutt & Urvashi Butalia in conversation


Updated: Oct 9, 2021

Nirupama Dutt is a poet, journalist, and translator of many seasons. She writes in both English and Punjabi as well as occasionally in Hindi. Her recent works include the biography of Punjab’s Dalit icon, The Ballad of Bant Singh and translation into English of Gulzar’s anthology of poetry Pluto published by Harper Collins besides The Poet of the Revolution: Lal Singh Dil and Stories of the Soil: An anthology of 41 Punjabi short stories translated into English.

She received the Punjabi Akademi Award for her anthology of poems, Ik Nadi Sanwali Jahi (A Stream Somewhat Dark). Her poetry anthologies have also come out in English and Hindi: The Black Woman and Buri Auraton Ki Fehrist Se (From the Roster of Wicked Women). Books edited by her include Our Voices, an anthology of SAARC poetry, Half the Sky and Children of the Night, two collections of Pakistani short stories and several others.

Urvashi Butalia co-founded Kali for Women in 1984 and in 2003 founded Zubaan. With over 35 years of experience in feminist and independent publishing, she has a formidable reputation in the industry in India and abroad. She also has a long involvement in the women’s movement in India, and is a well-known writer, both in academia and in the literary world. She has several works to her credit, key among which is her path-breaking study of Partition, The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India which won the Oral History Book Association Award and the Nikkei Asia Award for Culture. She has also taught publishing for over 20 years and is on the advisory boards of a number of national and international organisations. She has received many awards, among which are the Pandora award for women’s publishing, the French Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, the Nikkei Asia Award for Culture and the Padma Shri, the highest civilian honour awarded by the Indian government and the Goethe Medal.

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