22 May 2016: The Lost World of Sarala Devi by Sachidananda Mohanty

New Release: The Lost World of Sarala Devi, by Sachidananda Mohanty
With Intro by Geraldine Forbes (OUP, 2016)

The Lost World of Sarala Devi just published by Oxford University Press continues the rigorous and pioneering work done by the pre-eminent Professor of English, Sachidananda Mohanty, who is currently the Vice Chancellor of the Central  University of Orissa, Koraput, India,  in bringing early women’s writing in Odia to a larger audience in India and abroad; it is in tune with his earlier three works, Early Women’s Writing in Orissa, 1898-1950: A Lost Tradition (Sage Publications 2005), Gender and Cultural Identity in Colonial Orissa (Orient Longman 2008), and Sarala Devi (Central Sahitya Akademi, 2011).

Prof Mohanty’s explorations into the work of pre-independence and early post-independence Odia writers, especially women writers, forms a tradition in itself. Sarala Devi (1904-1986), who was a noted freedom fighter, feminist and social activist of her time, wrote some of the finest fiction, drama, literary criticism, biography, children’s literature and non-fiction prose of her time; and in this eclectic edition, Prof Mohanty brings astute selections of this vast repertoire within the covers of a single volume.  As the blurb of the book indicates “this compilation of lucid pieces translated from Odia not only enables us to grasp the development of Indian feminism but also offers a glimpse into the lost world of a reformer with a fiery spirit.” An insightful Introduction by Geraldine Forbes provides a sensitive and critical backdrop to the edition.

Sachidananda Mohanty is the recipient of numerous national and international recognitions for his pioneering work in archival research and his extensive publications in the fields of British, postcolonial, gender, and translation studies. He has published 29 books in Odia and English, which are path-breaking in the sense that they bring a whole lot of writers and themes into the ambit of literary studies, thus opening up new vistas for original and archival research; among his most significant works are: Cosmopolitan Modernity in Early Twentieth Century India (Routledge India 2015) and Periodical Press and Colonial Modernity (Oxford University Press and the international Global Academic Publishing 2015).

Muse India congratulates Prof Sachidananda Mohanty on his sustained contribution to literary studies with the publication of The Lost World of Sarala Devi. It is our pride that he is our Contributing Editor for Odia and that he has been generous with his time and expertise whenever we have approached him, in spite of what is sure to be a demanding academic and administrative schedule.

Report by: Charanjeet Kaur, Chief Editor, Muse India

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