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Sonata for Four Hands

by Amarjit Chandan

Bilingual English / Punjabi edition

Translated by the author with Julia Casterton, Shashi Joshi, Amin Mughal, Ajmer Rode, Stephen Watts and John Welch
Edited and introduced by Stephen Watts
With a Preface by John Berger

Part of our Arc Translations series edited by Jean Boase-Beier

Amarjit Chandan's long-awaited first full-length collection to be published in Britain comes with a preface by the distinguished writer John Berger, long-time admirer of Chandan's work. Ironic, lyrical, sometimes angry or regretful, these poems, written in Punjabi but by a poet settled in Britain, add a new dimension to contemporary poetry.

Amarjit Chandan is an amazing poet, imprisoned in solitary confinement for two years as a younger man, he's lived in this country for a long time, working tirelessly for the literary and the wider communities and writing in English and Punjabi and trying to discover linguistic bridges between the two. His book Sonata For Four Hands, published by Arc, is well worth getting hold of.

Ian McMillan. BBC Radio3 The Blog. Oct 2010

The wonder of Chandan's poetry is to present the Punjabi language in its innate simplicity. It transcends experience.

Bhagwan Josh, Professor in History, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Amarjit Chandan's poetry transports its listeners or readers into an arena of timelessness. What he does is to fold time; time in his poems becomes like an arras or a hinged screen. The listener or reader is encircled by a multiplicity of times. His poetic practice assumes that there are more space-time dimensions than the four we habitually recognise. ... Each of Chandan's poems proceeds in its own way and has its own form. Yet in all of them there is an assembly of different space-time dimensions.

John Berger

There is a silence in Chandan's poetry — a deep sense of the unspoken, and more accurately, the unspeakable. ... Words here are precarious and makeshift signposts in a vast hinterland of memory. They do not seek to tame silence; merely make a fragile truce with its unmappability.

Arundhathi Subramaniam

ISBN: 978-1906570-34-7 (pbk), 978-1906570-35-4 (hbk)

Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
Pages: 132
Published February 2010

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