Translator(s): S R Ramakrishna
Publisher: Sahitya Akademi
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8126017252
Dr. Siddalingalah is one of India's foremost dalit writers. Born in Magadi in southern Karnatka, he studied in village schools before he went to Bangalore to acquire his MA and Ph.D degrees.
Author of four poetry collections, two palys, a book of essays, and a doctroal study on folk deities, he was a founding member and ideologue of Karnataka Dalit Sangharsha Samiti.
What eventually became the opening chapter of Ooru Keri was first published as an article in the Kannada literary magazine Rujuvatu. My English translation of Dr Siddalingaiah's nostalgic piece appeared in the magazine section of Deccan Herald in 1995.
A year later, Dr Siddalingaiah wrote four additional chapters, and his memoirs took the shape of a book. Dr D R Nagaraj, the distinguished critic, wrote an afterword and published the Kannada original under the Akshara Chintana series, of which he was editor. He then asked me to translate the book into English. Y translation was ready in 1998. He was planning to publish it under Shabdana, the newly established translation wing of Sahitya Akademi. He was then its director.
S R RAMAKRISHNA (b 1962) holds an M Phil in translation studies from Bangalore University. He has worked as sub-editor, Deccan Herald, and assistant professor, Asian College of Journalism. He is the founder editor of The Music Magazine and composes music for theatre, television and film.
Fresh and invigorating, By slightly distorting he hunger and humiliation in his life, Siddalingaiah points to ways in which they can be overcome. This book attempts a new imaging of the dalit personality.
-D R Nagaraj