Writers, Publishers and Readers in Transitional Nepal by Michael Hutt

Michael Hutt (SOAS, London)

A discussion of Nepali literary production over the period c.2005-2010 that focuses on a number of texts that have provoked discussion in the Nepali public and media sphere. Provisionally, these will be: Narayan Wagle’s novel Palpasa Café, Shrawan Mukarung’s poem Bise Nagarchiko Bayan, Krishna Aviral’s novel Raktakunda  and Tara Rai’s memoir Chapamar Yuvatiko Dayari (this selection will inevitably evolve and probably broaden as the research progresses).  My account of the content, production, marketing and public reception of each of these texts will be set against the background of contemporaneous political and literary developments in Nepal.  In relation to Raktakund, I will also consider the many accounts of the Narayanhiti palace massacre that were still available from Kathmandu street stalls in September 2010 and attempt to relate them to theoretical discussions of rumour and conspiracy theories.  In my discussion of Chapamar Yuvatiko Dayari,  I will also refer to the many other ‘Maoist memoirs’ that have come onto the market over the last two years.  In my conclusion I will attempt to explain why it is that Wagle’s, Mukarung’s, Aviral’s and Rai’s works provoked so much comment and discussion, while much of the rest of the published work in these genres remained little discussed.  In so doing, I hope to shed some new light on the world of Nepali publishing and the relationship between writers, publishers and readers.

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Martin Chautari

Martin Chautari (MC) is a research and policy institute based in Kathmandu, Nepal. Begun as an informal discussion group in Kathmandu in 1991, MC now focuses on research and policy on democracy, media and education, with cross-cutting themes of gender and social inclusion. Along with the continuing discussion series, publications, open library and a rigorous mentoring program of young researchers are in-built into MC’s work. These all form an intrinsic part of MC’s primary objective: strengthening the social contract between state and citizens by expanding and making inclusive the public sphere with informed dialogue, analytically rigorous research and viable policy choices.

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Starting from the year 2001, MC began publishing books in the Chautari Book Series. Most of the books have been published in the thematic areas in which MC has worked institutionally.  By July 2014, 83 books had been published in this Series, 70 percent of them in the Nepali language. In addition to books written/edited by MC researchers, books written by non-MC scholars have also been published in this Series. Published books have included single- or multiple-authored monographs, readers/anthologies, edited volumes, collected essays of a single author, bibliographies, dictionaries, etc. 

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Martin Chautari is the editorial home of two journals: the bi-lingual (English and Nepali) semi-annual journal Studies in Nepali History and Society, established in 1996, and published by Mandala Book Point from Kathmandu and the Nepali language annual journal Media Adhyayan [Media Studies], established in 2006, and published by Chautari itself.

Studies in Nepali History 
and Society (SINHAS)

मिडिया अध्ययन 
[Media Adhyayan]



 17th December 2014

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Building upon its high degree of credibility as a non-partisan, rooted research centre, Martin Chautari has been publishing policy briefs since 2009. Till date mostly focused on the new constitution writing process, these publications work to inform and communicate complex ideas and present viable policy choices. They further add analytical rigour to otherwise politicized discussion of contentious issues. Simultaneously published in English and Nepali, these policy briefs are an especially useful tool to enable and encourage public dialogue.


Research Brief 12: Universal Connectivity in Nepal: A Policy Review [Eng / Nep]

Briefing Paper 11: Attendance and Process in Constituent Assembly II [Eng / Nep]



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Read 50 bibliographies on a variety of topics related to Nepal: media (including print, radio, television, online, seminar papers, MA/PhD Theses), politics (including elections, the Constituent Assembly, state-restructuring, National Development Service of the Panchayat era and the Maoist movement), women (including life histories and janajatis), environmental justice, climate change, the Nepal Tarai/Madhesh, social inclusion, and the social sciences in Nepal. Read more


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Call for Papers: Sixth Annual Media Research Conference 2015[ENG/NEP]

Selected Abstract: 5th Annual Young Researchers' Conference - 2015