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[book cover] Spark of Light

Edited by Valerie Henitiuk and Supriya Kar

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December 2016

9781771991674 (Paperback)
9781771991681 (PDF)
9781771991698 (ePub)


Mingling Voices

Literature / Translations



About the Book

Spark of Light is a diverse collection of short stories by women writers from the Indian province of Odisha. Originally written in Odia and dating from the late nineteenth century to the present, these stories offer a multiplicity of voices—some sentimental and melodramatic, others rebellious and bold—and capture the predicament of characters who often live on the margins of society. From a spectrum of viewpoints, writing styles, and motifs, the stories included here provide examples of the great richness of Odishan literary culture.

In the often shadowy and grim world depicted in this collection, themes of class, poverty, violence, and family are developed. Together they form a critique of social mores and illuminate the difficult lives of the subaltern in Odisha society. The work of these authors contributes to an ongoing dialogue concerning the challenges, hardships, joys, and successes experienced by women around the world. In these provocative explorations of the short-story form, we discover the voices of these rarely heard women.


About the Editors

Valerie Henitiuk is the executive director of the Centre for the Advancement of Faculty Excellence, and professor in the Department of English at MacEwan University. Her research focuses primarily on translation studies, world literature, Japanese literature, and women’s writing. She is also editor-in-chief of the journal Translation Studies.

Supriya Kar is an editor and translator from Odisha, India. She previously worked as an editor at Cambridge University Press India, and now edits the online journal, Indian Literature Today, which publishes Indian literature in English translation.



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Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.


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Download Front Matter

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Download Introduction
Valerie Henitiuk and Supriya Kar

DownloadThe Mendicant
Reba Ray

DownloadThey Too Are Human
Sushila Devi

DownloadThe Vigil
Suprabha Kar

DownloadIn Bondage
Basanta Kumari Patnaik

Gayatri Basu Mallik

DownloadPata Dei
Binapani Mohanty

DownloadA Timeless Image
Banaja Devi

DownloadThe Ring
Pratibha Ray

DownloadMan of the Century
Premalata Devi

DownloadThe Mystic Bird
Archana Nayak

DownloadThe Lotus Man
Mamata Dash

DownloadA Fistful of Hope
Golap Manjari Kar

Sanjukta Rout

DownloadThe Trap
Yashodhara Mishra

DownloadA Writer’s Alter Ego
Binodini Patra

DownloadA Mother from Kalahandi
Gayatri Sharaf

DownloadThe Sound of Silence
Susmita Rath

DownloadThe Worn-Out Bird
Aratibala Prusty

DownloadA Kerchief of Sky
Sanghamitra Mishra

DownloadMisery Knows No Bounds
Sarojini Sahoo

Supriya Panda

DownloadShadows of the Moon
Mona Lisa Jena

Paramita Satpathy

Chirashree Indrasingh

DownloadFour Microstories
Pallavi Nayak

DownloadDroplets of Memories
Deepsha Rath

DownloadAbout the Contributors


“In highlighting vernacular literature in English translation, Spark of Light contributes to a development that Subramanian Shankar has termed vernacular postcolonialism. Vernacular postcolonialism seeks to capture the vernacular idioms and sensibilities of a specific region and language. . . . Even though the vernacular may often resist translation, many of the vernacular sensibilities can indeed be captured in translations. The English translations of Odishan short stories thus also enrich the postcolonial archive. They testify that, far from being a substandard of a literary language, the Odishan vernacular connotes ‘locality and particularity with regard to geographical region’ (Shankar 11). More than that, they capture a form of vernacular realism and resistance that can go unnoticed in 'transnational' postcolonial literature written in English (only).”

Canadian Review of Comparative Literature (quote contains references to Subramanian
Shankar’s Flesh and Fish Blood: Postcolonialism, Translation, and the Vernacular)