31 July 2007
AN EMPIRE OF BOOKS: The Naval Kishore Press and the Diffusion of the Printed Word in Colonial India, by Ulrike Stark
The history of the book and the commercialization of print in the nineteenth century remain largely uncharted areas in South Asia. This major monograph on the legendary Naval Kishore Press of Lucknow (est. 1858)—then the foremost publishing house in the subcontinent—represents something of a breakthrough. It analyses an Indian publisher’s engagement in the field of cultural production with a detail and rigour hitherto unknown.
Describing early centres and pioneers of print in North India, the author traces the coming of the book in Hindi and Urdu. The career of Munshi Naval Kishore (1836–95) is viewed as exemplifying the publisher’s rise to prominence in the colonial public sphere. Ulrike Stark examines the publishing house in its roles as commercial enterprise and intellectual centre. Against a backdrop of cultural, social, and economic developments, she analyses the production of scholarly and popular books, identifying the contributions of individuals associated with the press.
Hardback / 606 pp / Rs 795 / ISBN 81-7824-196-X / Published in October 2007
24 July 2007
In September 2007 Permanent Black launched a new imprint, BLACK KITE, which will publish books aimed at those who read for pleasure. There will be intelligent, thought-provoking, unusual writing from writers known and unknown. We'll publish essays, translations, biography, memoir, and anything else that catches our fancy as long as the writing is superlative.
The first Black Kite book is a rambunctious romp through nineteenth-century Calcutta, a translation of Hootum Pyanchar Naksha (literally ‘Sketches by Hootum the Owl’), a set of satirical portraits so popular that it has never been out of print since its publication in 1862. This is its first ever translation.
The writing is so vivid that there is within these pages a sense of walking through a decadent Dickensian city as fishwives call out their wares, housewives hurry to the river for baths, thieves pick pockets, and carriages creak through slush and rotting banana peel carting passengers high on ganja.
THE OBSERVANT OWL: Hootum's Vignettes of Nineteenth-century Calcutta, by Kaliprasanna Sinha. Translated by Swarup Roy. Published in September 2007.
ISBN 81-7824-198-6/ paperback / Rs 295 / 216 pages, with sketches. (Distributed by Rupa & Co.)
IMPERIAL CONNECTIONS: India in the Indian Ocean Arena 1860-1920, by Thomas R. Metcalf
An innovative remapping of empire, Imperial Connections offers a broad-ranging view of the workings of the British Empire in the period when the India of the Raj stood at the centre of a newly globalized system of trade, investment, and migration.
Metcalf argues that India itself became a nexus of imperial power that made possible British conquest, control, and governance across a wide arc of territory stretching from Africa to eastern Asia. His book, offering a new perspective on how imperialism operates, emphasizes transcolonial interactions and webs of influence that advanced the interests of colonial India and Britain alike.
September 2007 / Hardback / Rs 650 / ISBN 81-7824-209-6 / For sale in South Asia only / Copublished by the University of California Press, Berkeley
BEYOND BELIEF: India and the Politics of Postcolonial Nationalism, by Srirupa Roy
Beyond Belief rethinks the formation and consolidation of nation-state ideologies. Analysing the first two decades after Indian Independence, Srirupa Roy shows how nationalists were turned into nationals, subjects into citizens, and the colonial state into a sovereign nation-state.
The idea that nations come into being as 'imagined communities' is not adequate when you look at India. Here the state makes itself more than manifest as the only possible glue for diverse communities to stick through thick and thin, like it or not, leaving very little for these communities to imagine.
Hardback / 260 pages / ISBN 81-7824-211-7 / Rs 595 / For sale in South Asia only / Published in September 2007 / Copublished by Duke University Press
23 July 2007
BEHIND THE VEIL: Resistance, Women, and the Everyday in Colonial South Asia, edited by Anindita Ghosh
For some time now, scholars have been working on the theme of dissent and struggle among women in in colonial South Asia. But the focus so far has been on the educated and the outstanding—either female public figures or relatives of important male personalities. This book unearths a narrative of deeper and perhaps more enduring subterranean resistance offered by less extraordinary women in their daily lives.
Tanika Sarkar, Geraldine Forbes, Clare Anderson, Siobhan Lambert-Hurley, Anindita Ghosh, Nita Verma Prasad
Hardback / 244 pages / Rs 595.00 / 81-7824-201-X / for sale only in South Asia
COPUBLISHED BY PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, LONDON