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How I Became a Writer
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How I Became a Writer
An Autobiography of a Dalit

Critical Acclaim


June 2022 | 372 pages | Samya SAGE Select
‘Writing was my truth, my god, my everything. I could not leave it for anything.’

With these words, Manoranjan Byapari points to how writing is as important to him as breathing. How I Became a Writer: An Autobiography of a Dalit is the translation of the second volume of his remarkable life story Itibritte Chandal Jivan. In this volume, translated for the first time into English with great sensitivity, the author talks of his life in Kolkata after leaving the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha. He takes up the post of a cook at a school, which provides work, albeit gruelling. Part I, School Shenanigans, describes how he carried out his duties, while being treated contemptuously because he is a Dalit, and became more determined to forge a new identity as a writer. Part II, The Right to Write, reveals how his persistence gradually resulted in his works being published in little magazines and, later, by mainstream publishers and how his fame slowly spread with television interviews and prestigious awards.

He discusses Dalit writings, Dalit literary organizations and whether he is a ‘Dalit writer’. His forthright observations on society and governance provide many insights.
 
Foreword by Sipra Mukherjee
 
Acknowledgements
 
A Note by the Translator
 
PART I: School Shenanigans
 
My First Visit to the Helen Keller Institute for the Deaf and the Blind
 
The Warden and the Mother Killer
 
The Four Guards
 
More on the Warden and Introducing the Teacher in Charge
 
Tensions at Work
 
Tact or Free Flow like Pebbles?
 
Checkmate
 
Something Fishy
 
Arm Wrestling
 
The Unlettered Are Not Fools
 
Lessons in Morality
 
Embattling Superiors
 
Mother Killer
 
The Secretary of the Organization for Disabled People
 
Boro Sahib
 
How Duttada’s Intentions Came to Nought
 
Mutating Viruses
 
More Pilferage and Persecution
 
To Eat or Not to Eat?
 
PART II: Right to Write
 
Jogenda, Ashokji and Podokkhyep
 
More Literary Expeditions
 
Ananta Acharya, Khokon Majumdar and Dalit Writings of Bengal
 
The Story of Jibon Das
 
A Tumultuous End to a Decade
 
The Publication of Itibritte Chandal Jivan
 
A Job Offer Gone Wrong and Returning to Chhattisgarh
 
The Patna Literature Festival
 
Literary Accolades
 
In Pursuit of Parivartan
 
Boro Sahib’s Desire to Felicitate Me
 
The Bangla Akademy Award and Other Honours
 
An Interview with 24 Ghonta
 
My Writing Philosophy
 
The End of an Era
 
Index

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ISBN: 9789381345771
£24.00