Edited Volumes

The Corbett Papers

Edited by Akshay Shah and Stephen Alter

Jim Corbett, the famous naturalist-hunter, wrote a series of bestsellers about his experiences with wildlife in the jungles of North India. Man-Eaters of Kumaon (1944), his first book, has sold more than 4 million copies. Few people know that some of the stories in that book were earlier published in a slender volume titled Jungle Stories, only a hundred copies of which were printed by Corbett for friends in his hometown, Nainital. The entire text of this privately published and long vanished book is reproduced here, along with papers that Corbett’s first biographer, D.C. Kala, acquired during his research.

The Corbett Papers also includes the unpublished reminiscences of Jim by his sister Maggie, and rare extracts from a forgotten work, The Taming of the Jungle, by Corbett’s half-brother Charles Doyle. D.C. Kala’s writings from the mid-1950s describing what is now the Corbett Park appear here too, as do extracts from Memoirs of the Raj by G.R. Kala, a government official and contemporary of Corbett posted in the Kumaon regions where the hunter was most active.

Finally, the full text of Jim Corbett’s lengthy Last Will and Testament is reproduced, affording new insights into his character and state of mind at the end of his life. All readers of Corbett’s compelling corpus will require this book to complete their collection of his inimitable writings.

Great Indian Children’s Stories

Edited by Stephen Alter

Great Indian Children’s Stories, edited by award-winning writer Stephen Alter, collects nine delightful short stories for older children by some of India’s foremost writers. The handpicked stories in this anthology include classics such as Rabindranath Tagore’s ‘The Kabuliwallah’, revolving around an unlikely friendship between a little Bengali girl and an Afghan man; Munshi Premchand’s ‘Idgah’, the heart-warming story of the gift a young boy gives to his grandmother on Eid; Mahasweta Devi’s ‘The Why-Why Girl’, the true story of a young girl from the Shabar community with an indomitable spirit; Ruskin Bond’s ‘The Blue Umbrella’, a tale of jealousy and understanding set in the pristine Garhwal hills; Khushwant Singh’s ‘Portrait of a Lady’, a poignant story about a young boy and his beloved grandmother; and Shashi Tharoor’s ‘The Boutique’, a sensitive account of an adolescent boy’s rite of passage to adulthood.

The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Short Stories

Edited by Stephen Alter and Wimal Dissanayake

Twenty classic short stories from master writers across the country This superb collection contains some of the best Indian short stories written in the last fifty years both in English and in the regional languages. Some of these stories – ‘We Have Arrived in Amritsar’ by Bhisham Sahni ‘Companions’ by Raja Rao ‘The Sky and the Cat’ by U.R. Anantha Murthy ‘A Devoted Son’ by Anita Desai – have been widely anthologized and are well known. Others like Premendra Mitra’s ‘The Discovery of Telenapota’ Gangadhar Gadgil’s ‘The Dog that Ran in Circles’ Mowni’s ‘A Loss of Identity’ O.V. Vijayan’s ‘The Wart’ and Devanuru Mahadeva’s ‘Amasa’ are less familiar to readers but are nevertheless classics of the art of the short story. This new and revised edition includes three additional classics: R.K. Narayan’s ‘Another Community’ Avinash Dolas’s ‘The Victim’ and Ismat Chughtai’s ‘The Wedding Shroud’. The Penguin Book of Modern Indian Short Stories is a marvellous and entertaining introduction to the rich diversity of pleasures that the Indian short story-a form that has produced masters in over a dozen languages-can offer.