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Finding Arun Kolatkar!

A thing about reading is that it is a constant process of discovery. You keep hunting for that story or poem that will break the ennui of the familiar in the universe of the printed word and then suddenly you stumble upon your next addiction.

The cover of Arun Kolatkar's collected English poems
The cover of Arun Kolatkar's collected English poems

It is unfortunate, though, that Arun Kolatkar, the masterful bilingual writer and poet, who spent a full life in writing should be discovered from the pages of Granta’s edition on India, Granta 130: India, as a “neglected writer” with his story, Sticky Fingers. In a note, poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra explains that this story is one of the six Balwant Bua stories he wrote in English.

Kolatkar had a long association with Balwant Bua, a Bhajan singer and storyteller, and Sticky Fingers is one of the six Balwant Bua stories written originally in English.

Like a sparkling stream, Kolatkar’s words race through paper, conjuring images and complex realities and extracting a compelling and intimate story from a busy vegetable market. We are eagerly looking forward to read more of his work including his famous poems and we hope publishers pick up the Balwant Bua series soon.

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