You are here

How I Became a Writer

How I Became a Writer
An Autobiography of a Dalit

Critical Acclaim

July 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
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?
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

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9789381345771