Sunday, March 22, 2009

pulp fiction: made in india: now in english

If you had, as I did, the habit of visiting every raddii store you'd have noticed those books in Hindi, which sported a woman striking a suggestive pose and the name of the author three words long, screaming out in large bold text on top, one word on a line. You'd have probably noticed how similar these covers were to those of the James Hadley Chase novels published by Corgi Books. The same number of words in the author's name too. The name was Surender/Surendra Mohan Pathak and he was (is) one of the most famous representatives of crime fiction in populist Hindi literature.

Back home in Chennai, Rakesh Kumar Khanna, Rashmi Ruth Devadasan and Kaveri Lalchand brought to life an independent publishing house named Blaft. Imagine a list of titles that includes The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction, Zero Degree and when this key sketch gets real tongue is fork hen is cock
when this key sketch gets real my baby eagle's dream comes true
(you may go back and read that again).

To this list comes a fresh addition: The first translation of SMP into English. ६५ लाख की डकैती is coming soon to with the moniker The 65 Lakh Heist. The man responsible for the translation is my dear friend Sudarshan Purohit, who, if you knew him, is a great man for the job. The book's already getting its share of press (consider the March 23, 2009 issue of Time Asia). Consider this a full-blown recommendation to rush to the bookstores to snag your copy. This is too cool to beat.

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