Janice Pariat, one of Indian’s distinguished young literary talents (Crossword Book Award for Fiction 2014) and a voice that the Pontas Agency is honored to represent, had been invited to participate in several events. Her novel SEAHORSE, which has been compared to Amitav Ghosh and Yoko Ogawa in a recent review, is currently being presented in many cities across India and we hope will be travelling around the world soon, too. Pariat, a writer of Northeast Indian origin, leads a bursting and diverse young literary scene which was very much present and vibrant in Jaipur, and which also mirrors India’s fast-changing and exciting publishing scene.
Meetings, dinners, lunches and cups of chai were shared with a mix of local and international guests: from the magnificent team at Random House India which are taking such good care of Janice (helmed by Chiki Shakar, piloted by Meru Gokhale and executed by Fazal Rashid), to the lovely Harper Collins gang (Manasi Subramaniam, Karthika V.K.), as well as the rising independent publishers Speaking Tiger, Aleph, Yoda Press and many others. A very special moment was the meeting Marina had with Urvashi Butalia from Zurbaan Publishers (in the photo left), one of the editors with a longest standing relationship with our agency, since Urvashi and Anna Soler-Pont had met for the first time in 1992, when Pontas was founded! And meeting with Manas and Renuka from Speaking Tiger and Vaiju Naravane from Albin Michel (photo right).
Jaipur is also a place where many international professionals converge and this year many agency friends were also there: Henry Rosenbloom from Scribe, who have just acquired UK & Com. rights to THE DEVIL IS A BLACK DOG AND OTHER STORIES FROM THE MIDDLE EAST by Sándor Jászberényi (published by Kalingram in Hungary and New Europe Books in the US) and who is also publishing THE FISHERMEN by Chigozie Obioma in Australia (in the photo, left, with Manasi Subramaniam (Harper Collins India) and Marina); Alexandra Pringle from Bloomsbury, responsible for one of our agencies’ most successful authors,Susan Abulhawa (her new novel THE BLUE BETWEEN THE SKY AND WATER is coming out in English in June), Shona Martyn, from Harper Collins Australia, who was very excited about Dolores Redondo’s forthcoming trip to Sydney for the launch of THE INVISIBLE GUARDIAN, and many others.
As an international agency operating on a worldwide scale, liaisoning with authors and editors in their own countries has always been a priority for the agency and will continue to be so in the future. Getting to know the Indian literary scene and understanding it from the inside provides us with better tools to work and promote our authors and with access to better information to offer to editors around the world. As author and mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik put it during his event at the festival, in a good example “If you don’t understand the concept of infinity or ananta you don’t understand Indian thought.”