Akshay got a book called Norse Mythology by the celebrated writer, Neil Gaiman. While in Indian mythology, a great deal of writing and interpretation has been made of mythical characters, not many are familiar with the Norse gods. Whatever we know of Norse mythology is circumscribed by Marvel’s depiction of Loki and Thor. Gaiman goes on an odyssey in the Norse world showing readers how the nine worlds were formed, how Odin got his knowledge and the story of valhalla. “It’s the kind of book that leaves you wanting more,” Akshay said. It seems to be by far the ‘lightest’ book he has got to the BYOB Party.
Amrita spoke about a book translated from Assamese. A Game of Chess is a collection of short stories compiled by Dhirendra Nath. Amrita enjoyed the substance of the stories and felt that they would be appealing to anyone curious about Northeast India. However, she observed that unlike many translations she had read of writers from other languages, this attempt was closer to a transliteration than a translation.
“It’s strange how foreign writers always have better translators,” she said. A famous translator was mentioned to dispel her disappointment- Arunava Sinha is probably the best translator there is right now in the subcontinent, said another reader.
“But the themes stand out- lonely women, anxious fathers and changing times. As far as translations go, even a writer like Tagore’s work is never justified by a worthy translation. Pick up the book if you are looking for a nice easy read.”
More books next week.