More on Publisher's Desk

World Book Day, 23 April, 2018

The Bengali calendar starts with the month of Baisakh, and Bengalis in India and in Bangladesh celebrate poila baisakh or the 1st of Baisakh with gaiety. In the past decades this day has also been a day for publishing new books, that tradition is now somewhat faded. We have just celebrated 1st of Baisakh 1425. This year in the more accepted calendar, is 2018 and Sampark, the publishing house we started, is now nearly twenty years. It was in November 1998 that the company was formed.

This year i.e. 2018 has seen some exciting new books published at our press. On 13 February we launched BURMESE PORTRAITS by Sebastien Ortiz whose earlier book GHOSTS OF CALCUTTA has been a great success and a bestseller in our list. On 27 February we launched a biographical novel on Gandhi. Arvin Ghosh’s GANDHI: BIRTH OF A MAHATMA is a lucidly written fictional account of the Mahatma’s life.

On 8 March, International Women’s Day, we launched WOMEN’S VOICES (edited by Parna Ghosh), a book that we have published in collaboration with the Lady Brabourne College, Kolkata. Later in the month, French social anthropologist Marc Hatzfeld, author of THE POETICS OF LAND, was in conversation with journalist Suvojit Bagchi and me, at a SAMPARK LITERARY ADDA in the Alliance Francaise, Kolkata.

And this month i.e. April has seen the publication of EKTI SHORIRER DINLIPI, Bengali translation of French author Daniel Pennac’s JOURNAL D’UN CORPS (Body Journal). Translator Deb Chowdhury has done a great job as has Ann Leroux who translated Sebastien Ortiz’s book PORTRAITS BIRMANES ( translated into English as Burmese Portraits).

We have also been fortunate to have the support of the French Book Office, New Delhi and Institut Francais, Paris in the translation and publication of the French books. In Kolkata, we have worked closely with Raka Sen and the Bengal Club when the club hosted Sebastien Ortiz for a talk and with Damayanti Lahiri and the Modern Academy of Continuing Education with whom we have collaborated on a few book events.

For quite some years now Arindam Kar and Jayanta Sarkar have been part of the Sampark team. In recent months we have welcomed three other members to our team. Chandrayee Dey has done excellent work on the editorial side. Soumitra Saha has taken up important role in Shomporko, our Bengali magazine and has moved out to institutions to create bridges and Binita Paul has helped us in distributing our magazine to all corners of the city.

We have had a dedicated cooperation with the Oxford Bookstore over the last years. I am grateful to Swagat Sengupta, CEO and all our friends at Oxford Bookstore for the continuing cooperation and friendship they have given us.

It has been a much awaited moment for us, the day when we will have our own e-bookstore. Now, with the cooperation of our technology partners, we are proud to launch Sampark’s e-bookstore, booklovers and friends from all over the world can now browse and buy at www.samparkglobal.in

Sunandan Roy Chowdhury, 1st Baisakh 1425 / 15 April 2018