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Innovative Indian publisher wins accolades

June 2006
Innovative Indian publisher wins accolades

With a combination of artistic inventiveness and high production standards, India-based Tara Publishing, which has been churning out books for children and adults since 1994, continues to win acclaim and – with surprising frequency – international awards. As Khabar noted last year, their Tiger on a Tree for young readers won a slew of prizes. Also, The Mahabharata: A Child's View – Part1 has bagged awards in Spain, Italy and Germany. In the adult category, their Oedipus the King (written by Sirish Rao and Gita Wolf, illustrated by Indrapramit Roy) was in the news not long ago for winning awards from the likes of the Association of American University Presses and the U.S.-based AAA Museum Publications. Founded by Gita Wolf, Tara is an independent publishing house in Chennai. "Since our publishing agenda is unique, we work on creating a constituency for it, through readings, performances, workshops and exhibitions," states the publisher, adding, "Tara favors work that is radical, witty and politically rigorous, and we see our politics – whether of gender equality, the environment, or human rights – as informing points of view for a general readership, rather than as superficial concerns." The eclectic group of employees at Tara includes writers, designers and artists/illustrators. More than half of their titles for children and young adults have been published outside India, but without homogenizing the content or style of presentation. Handcrafting – an attempt at "recreating forgotten ways of bookmaking into new forms" – is another specialty that allows Tara to publish unique volumes as collectors' items.

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