Friday, June 19, 2015

Review in Reading Hour

We are confident: ‘Pages from an Unfinished Autobiography’ is an interesting book. Hence we decided to publish it.

But how do you promote a book when the author is so reticent about publicity? Imagine that, in this day and age, when it is essentially the job of the author, and not the humble publisher to promote a book. After all, the credit goes to the writer, not the publisher.

This Bangalore-based wonderful magazine ‘Reading Hour’ published a judicious review of Dibyajyoti Sarma’s ‘Pages from an Unfinished Autobiography’ in its January-February 2015 issue (vol 5, issue 1), and the author did not inform us about it at all. We finally found the review, and it’s a very good one.

The reviewer, Shruti Rao, understands the book and its foibles too. She says some of the poems “pale in comparison with their more powerful siblings”. This we agree. Some poems could have been edited out. But Mr Sarma insisted that they be included. He wanted to document everything, the sacred, the profane.

Rao also is smart to understand the tonal inconsistency of some of the poems. They have the ring of translation from another language, she says. This is true. Mr Sarma started writing poetry in Asomiya and some of the poems in the volume are actually his own translation of his Asomiya poems.

Finally, Rao writes: “Sarma’s poetic eye looks as much inwards as outwards. The poems, though autobiographical, and nostalgic for past memories, also throw a radio signal out to the world. Is anybody listening? They ask, and you realise that through the impenetrable fortress wall of someone else’s private life, you have been listening in rapt attention.”

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