How to translate Perumal Murugan: Nandini Krishnan on her experience with ‘Estuary’ - ALL Jobs News

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Friday, 4 September 2020

How to translate Perumal Murugan: Nandini Krishnan on her experience with ‘Estuary’

Award-winning Tamil writer Perumal Murugan’s latest novel Estuary has been translated by Nandini Krishnan. Estuary is a curious book. It may appear flat in its tone, but the preoccupation of the government clerk Kumarasurar with his son Meghas’s welfare is universal. Many parents will identify with it. Much of the story revolves around Meghas’s request for a fancy smartphone that Kumarasurar may or not be able to afford. Estuary is a commentary on society and a gentle dig at people who are immune to external influences and refuse to evolve.

For Krishnan, the author of Hitched: The Modern Indian Woman and Arranged Marriage and Invisible Men: Inside India’s Transmasculine Networks, this is her first translation from Tamil. Excerpts from an email interview about translating this novel.

How long did it take you to translate Estuary?
It is hard to calculate the man-hours, but going by the calendar, I started in November 2019 and the novel went to print in May 2020. I had promised the publisher of Westland Books, VK Karthika, that I would have a first draft ready in a month, so that Westland could publish the following summer. And so, I pushed aside all my other writing projects and dedicated myself entirely to the novel.

Of course, I had read it twice already and had...

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