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Short Stories

Manju Kak sums up many of her intense short stories as attempts at translating a nation.

“Through the reminisces of an Indian editor in London who waits impatiently for a visiting translator from her home country to turn up at her posh women’s club? In the documentary filmmaker visiting Kashmir in the aftermath of a massacre where her soldier son was killed by militants? Or in the mind of a widow forced to sell her house when confronted by new political forces that threaten her daughter and upset the class boundaries of her town? Or through the eyes of an alcoholic mourning the loss of his revolution to carpetbaggers? Or even in the zealous journalist who helps ferment communal tensions in Bombay in his quest for a perfect world… thereby losing ‘the remains of himself‘? Or in the character of a translated novel who confronts the commissioning editor in the story ‘if you must make me then make me a god‘? In the Rhodesian Jewish girl who dyes her black hair blond till the day Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated? Or finally does it rest in a women trekking into the Himalayas to look for a mythical ruby? How does a writer take upon herself the symbol of her nation, embed it deep enough into her heart, only that she may scatter it to rebound midst the collective of men? “Ah, she thought, how I tried… but how could I translate a nation? Will she?” thinks the Indian editor of the title story of this collection I am working on when she finally spies the  provincial translator wrapped in the silk of her saree flapping in the November wind approaching the doors of her London club.”

  • If you must make me, then make me a God“, Indian Literature, May-June, 2013
  • A Pillar of Society“,, Vol 1, Issue 2, May 2013
  • Poet’s Party”, Indian Literature, Sept-Oct 2009
  • Kashmir in the Time of Chinar Leaves, South Asian Review, Vol. 29, Number 3, 2008, publication of the South Asian Literary Association, USA
  • Andaman, in First Proof – The Penguin Book of New Writing from India – 2, Penguin, 2006
  • The Remains of the Self, Present Tense, Living on the Edge, Namita Gokhale Editions, Roli Books, 2004
  • “Artist Woman” (poem), Canadian Woman Studies, 2004
  • The Colour of Death“, The Word Plus Quarterly magazine January-March 2004
  • Give Me Back My Country”, Manushi,  May–June 1996 & July 2003
  • Split Second, Sea of Voices, Isle of Story AWIWA Anthology – Triple Tree Publishing, Oregon, 2003
  • Some Nights it’s Worse, Sunday Pioneer, 31 August 2003
  • Pangong Letter, Sunday Pioneer, 21 September 2003
  • Birju“, The Statesman , Festival Issue, 2003
  • Kashmir in the Time of Chinar Leaves”, The Toronto Review of International Writing, Canada, 2002
  • Five Women” , “Give Me Back My Country”, The Word Plus, January–March 2002
  • Birju”, Days of Innocence – Stories for Ruskin Bond, Namita Gokhale Editions, Roli Books, 2002
  • Translating A Nation“, The Statesman, Festival Issue 2000 & 2001
  • In the Time of Chinar Leaves”, Sunday Pioneer, 12 August 2001
  • Give Me Back My Country”, A Storehouse of Tales – Contemporary Indian Women Writers, Edited by Jehanara Wasi, Srishti Publishers and Distributers, 2001
  • The Inheritance“, Little Magazine, May-June 2001
  • Animated Stardust”, The Guarded Tongue-Women’s Writing & Censorship in India, Women’s World, Asmita, 2001
  • Five Women”, Puja Special, An Asian Age Literary Supplement on Durga Puja, 1999
  • The Colour of Death”, A Second Skin – Women Write About Clothes, Edited by Kirsty Dunseath, The Women’s Press Ltd., 1998
  • Five Women“, Manushi, March-April 1998
  • “Speaking of Attia Hossain“, The Hindu, 2 August 1998
  • Shyambhai”, The Word Plus, July–September 1995
  • Twilight”, In Other Words – New Writing by Indian Women, Westview Press,Inc., U.S.A., 1994
  • By The River“, Namaste, March 1994
  • “The Collector“, Namaste, March 1993
  • “Silence of the Grave“, The Hindu, 1993
  • Blessed Are My Sons”, Katha Prize Stories Volume 2, Edited by Geeta Dharmarajan, Rupa-Katha, 1992
  • The Man Next Door“, The Illustrated Weekly Of India, 5-11 December 1992
  • The Boy“, Indian Literature (National Academy of Letters) Journal, July-August 1992
  • Silences”, Indian Horizons (ICCR Journal), Volume 53, Spring Issue
  • Requiem for an Unsung Revolutionary”, Indian Horizons (ICCR Journal)