An anthology of 28 Telugu short stories written by stalwarts of yesteryears as also new authors making waves in the realm of Telugu literature is now available in English. "Moisture Trapped in Stone: An Anthology of Modern Telugu Short Stories" translated by K N Rao has stories about everyday lives and ordinary people, highlighting the issues confronting the society covering a wide spectrum of topics. A total of 17 writers are featured in the volume, nine of them being women writers. Feudalistic prejudices to present-day problems and realities find a place in the stories, which range from the serious to the satirical, from light hearted humour to grave discursive. Some of the authors whose stories feature in the anthology, published by Niyogi Books, are B Geetika, D Kameswari, Jalandhara, Kalipatnam Rama Rao, Madhurantakam Rajaram and Popuri Lalita Kumari. According to Rao, Telugu short story, as a genre of literary writing, celebrated its centenary year in 2011. "The air was astir all over the Telugu-speaking areas of the country. Print medium helped its growth; magazines weeklies and monthlies in particular.
But it must be said that the Telugu short story does not enjoy a degree of acceptance, same as its counterpart from other languages of the country, possibly because of non-availability in translated version," he says. "However, as far back as 1952, when Palagummi Padmaraju's "Galivana" was adjudged the second best short story in a world short story competition conducted by the New York Herald Tribune, the Telugus went agog. This was 65 years ago. I wonder if something like this happened again," he says. That memory surfaced in Rao's mind as he read about the festivities around the centenary of the Telugu short story in 2011.
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