Tales of Darkness and Light: Soso Tham’s The Old Days of the Khasis

Tales of Darkness and Light: Soso Tham’s The Old Days of the Khasis

This campaign succeeded on Mar 31, 2018.
10 ungluers
$5,001 raised
$5,000 goal
35 Ungluers have Faved this Work

Soso Tham was an Indian poet who worked at a time when English was slowly effacing the nuances of ancient Indian culture. Now, however, in Janet Hujon’s valuable translation, English is the very medium that enables Tham’s poetry to reach a wider audience. Hujon draws on parallels from the Romantic imagination and other sympathetic literary traditions of Myth to illuminate and contextualise Tham’s work for an English-speaking audience. This translation will contribute to giving Soso Tham the wider recognition he deserves as a poet, and more generally to introduce Western readers to the rich literary traditions of northeast India.

—Dr Vayu Naidu, SOAS, University of London

Soso Tham (1873–1940), the acknowledged poet laureate of the Khasis of northeastern India, was one of the first writers to give written poetic form to the rich oral tradition of his people.

Poet of landscape, myth and memory, Soso Tham paid rich and poignant tribute to his tribe in his masterpiece The Old Days of the Khasis. Janet Hujon’s vibrant new translation presents the English reader with Tham’s long poem, which keeps a rich cultural tradition of the Khasi people alive through its retelling of old narratives and acts as a cultural signpost for their literary identity.

This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in Indian literature and culture and in the interplay between oral traditions and written literary forms.

This edition includes:
• English translation
• Critical apparatus   
• Embedded audio recordings of the original text

This book is included in DOAB.

Why read this book? Have your say.

(April 25, 2018, 6:38 a.m.)
Dear Ungluers, we are delighted to let you know that Tales of Darkness and Light: Soso Tham’s The Old Days of the Khasis (trans. Janet Hujon) is now PUBLISHED! Thanks to your amazing support, all the digital editions (pdf, epub and mobi) are all available for everyone to download, absolutely free. Thank you all for your donations!
(April 4, 2018, 6:25 a.m.)
Thanks so much to everyone who has donated to Unglue Janet's translation of Soso Tham's masterpiece! I'm delighted to say that the book is in the final stages of production and it will be out this spring - and ALL the digital editions will be completely free to download, thanks to your generous support! Watch this space:

Thank you!
(March 27, 2018, 12:29 p.m.)
Dear Ungluers, on the main campaign page you can now see some words from the translator, Janet Hujon, about how the experience of translating Tham's poetry reconnected her to her homeland. Thanks so much to thsoe of you who have donated to help make this rare translation free for everyone to read in all its digital editions - please share the campaign with your networks and help us to meet our total. This rich and evocative poetry, in Janet's beautiful translation, should be known much more widely and with your help, it can be.
(March 20, 2018, 1:36 p.m.)
Want to know more about the matriarchal Khasi society that inspired Soso Tham? Watch this fascinating documentary:

Please donate to and share the campaign! Janet Hujon's translation of Soso Tham's poetry brings to life a fascinating region and culture that is little-known in English.
(March 1, 2018, 6:30 a.m.)
Thanks to everyone who has supported the campaign so far! Please share it with your networks if you can - we're so graetful to have received so much generosity but we'd love to get even closer to our goal!

Stay tuned for some words from the translator next week: Janet is going to be writing to tell everyone more about why she wrote the book and what Tham's poetry means to her.

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