HarperCollins Publishers is proud to announce Nanak Singh’s Hymns in Blood, translated by Navdeep Suri


NEW DELHI, April 14, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — “Nanak Singh’s deeply felt novel, written immediately after the 1947 score, bears the raw mark of an intensely felt and lived tragedy that shattered not only two countries, but also hearts, relationships, friendships, homes and trust,” said Urvashi Butalia.

“Suri’s translation of Singh’s superb classic is a breath of fresh air. The world has never needed this light novel so much,” said Anjali Enjeti.

“Sensitive and rich, it embodies the spirit of undivided Punjab, and seventy-five years later serves not only as a historical narrative, but also as a timely reminder of the consequences of man-made divisions,” said Aanchal Malhotra.

1947, Chakri. An idyllic village on the banks of the Soan near Rawalpindi, surrounded by ears of golden wheat and festive carols. Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs eagerly await the end of winter and come together to prepare for Lohri. Amidst this joyful turmoil, Baba Bhana, the village’s elder scholar, worries about the future of his adopted daughter, Naseem, even as a tender love blossoms between young Naseem and Yusuf, the son wanderer of the blacksmith.

Life stops when the news of a possible partition of India reached the village. Amid a frenzy of communal violence, Baba Bhana and her family must reluctantly leave their beloved village. They embark on a long and dangerous journey, slowly coming to terms with the fact that their lives could change forever. Sohile Khoonfirst published in February 1948and now translated for the first time into English, is a timely reminder of the grief and trauma that a religious divide brings in its wake.

Navdeep Surisaid, “Translating this book has given me a rare glimpse into the texture of life in a part of rural Punjab that now lies on the other side, a glimpse of its sights and sounds, its colors and It also revealed how my grandfather uses his characters and story to tell his readers that a commitment to humanity is sacred, while adherence to religious faith is a personal matter. The wave of communal violence that swept through Punjab in 1947 and the devastation wreaked on the unfortunate Hindu and Sikh communities of Pothohar was real, but so was the raw courage of some of the Muslim protagonists while trying to save their neighbors. steadfast between Baba Bhana Shah and Chaudhry Fazal Karim is a deeply emotional balm on the wounds of the score.”

Sohini BasakEditor-in-chief, says, “Nanak Singh’s contribution to Indian literature is immense and we are very pleased to present hymns in the blood in Navdeep Suri superb translation. With a cast of forgettable characters and written in beautifully paced prose, this classic 1948 Punjabi novel will resonate deeply with readers in 2022 and beyond, and will also hopefully act as a cautionary tale. It’s a story that will add to the richness of the score literature, and a book that we at HarperCollins are proud to publish.”

About the Author:

Nanak Singh (1897-1971) is widely regarded as the father of the Punjabi novel. With little formal education beyond fourth grade, he wrote an astounding fifty-nine books, including thirty-eight novels and an assortment of plays, short stories, poems, essays and even a set of translations. He received the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1962 for Ik Mian Do Talwaran. His novel Pavitra Paapi was made into a film in 1968, while Chitta Lahu was translated into Russian by Natasha Tolstoy.

About the translator:

Navdeep Suri is a former diplomat who served in india diplomatic missions to washington d.c. and London. He was too india ambassador to Egypt and United Arab Emirates, High Commissioner Australia and consul general to Johannesburg. Navdeep strove to preserve his grandfather Nanak Singh’s literary legacy and bring his works to a wider audience. He translated classic Punjabi novels of the 1930s into English Pavitra Paapi (The Watchmaker) and Adh Khidya Phul (An Incomplete Life) His Translation of Nanak Singh’s Lost Poem Khooni Vaisakhi was released in 2019 and continues to be mentioned in news and media.

About HarperCollins Publishers India:

HarperCollins India publishes some of the best writers from the Indian subcontinent and around the world, releasing around 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalog of over 2,000 titles spread across 10 editions. Its authors have won almost all major literary awards including Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, New India Foundation Prize, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Prize, Publishing Next Prize , Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the best publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover and Lonely Planet. HarperCollins India is now the recipient of five Publisher of the Year awards – in 2021 and 2015 at the Publishing Next Industry Awards, and in 2021, 2018 and 2016 at Tata Literature Live. HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.

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SOURCE HarperCollins Publishers India


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