Manoranjan Byapari writes in Bengali. He has been elected as an MLA from Balagarh (SC) Assembly Constituency representing the All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) in the West Bengal Legislative Assembly Elections 2021. He was born in the mid-fifties in Barishal, Bangladesh. His family migrated to West Bengal in India when he was three. In 2014, Byapari was given the Suprabha Majumdar Prize, awarded by the Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi. He also received the Sharmila Ghosh Smriti Literary Prize in 2015. In 2018, the English translation of his memoir, Ittibrite Chandal Jibon (Interrogating My Chandal Life), received the Hindu Prize for non-fiction and was shortlisted for the Jio MAMI Word to Screen Award. In 2019, he was awarded the Gateway LitFest Writer of the Year.
In My Voice: Manoranjan Byapari
Manoranjan Byapari in conversation with Arunava Sinha
The first of a trilogy, Manoranjan Byapari's latest book, The Runaway Boy, follows Jibon and his spirit of survival through a refugee camp in East Pakistan to his escape to Calcutta. Translated from Bangla to English by V. Ramaswamy, the evocative and imagery-rich book is a gut wrenching account of caste, politics and poverty. Byapari's extraordinary literary career is the stuff of legends and he has recently been elected an MLA in the Bengal elections. His writings include Chhera Chhera Jibon, Ittibrite Chandal Jibon, Amanushik, Anya Bhubon and Motua Ek Mukti Senar Naam. In conversation with translator Arunava Sinha, he discusses this piercing narrative of human determination and the process of its translation.