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It is only fitting that in the year of Rabindranath Tagore's 150th birth anniversary, The Essential Tagore, a new anthology of the Nobel laureate's translated works, has been nominated for the 'Book of the year - 2011', by American philosopher, writer and critic Martha Nussbaum.
The collection (edited by Fakrul Alam and Radha Chakravarty), viewed by critics as the largest single volume of the poet's work available in English, represents his achievements in 10 literary genres - poetry, songs, autobiographical works, letters, travel writings, prose, novels, short stories, humourous pieces and plays. The translations have been contributed by Amit Chaudhuri, Amitav Ghosh and Sunetra Gupta, among others.
According to Nussbaum, who had earlier taught at Harvard University, the anthology "contains an unparalleled selection of poems, plays, stories, letters and more, mostly in excellent and up-to-date translations".
A Grammy touch
To commemorate World Aids Day in India, the Nehru Park in Delhi will reverberate with sounds of Grammy Award winners on Dec 3 at 7 pm. Sharing the dais with Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, creator of the mohan veena, will be Toumani Diabate who will be playing the 21-string instrument called kora. Diabate hails from Mali in Africa and belongs to a family that has been playing the kora (that looks like the lute but is plucked like a harp), for the past 53 generations. Diabate took this traditional instrument to the international stage when he won the Grammy in 2006 for the best traditional music album for In the Heart of the Moon, a collaboration with Ali Farka Toure, a Malian singer and guitarist.
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