This Dalit History Month Penguin to release an incredibly moving and hauntingly honest memoir of Yogesh Maitreya, a leading independent Indian Dalit publisher, writer, and poet
Encompassing experiences of pain, loneliness, depravation, alienation, and the political consciousness of his caste identity, this intimately moving memoir is a story of resilience and raw brutality. Growing up in a working-class family with meagre wages to get by in life, Yogesh writes of his father’s struggle against alcohol and passion for cinema; of intergenerational dreams shattered; working day and night shifts in factories; the struggle of being lost, overlooked and unmentored in India’s schooling, college and University systems which continue to be casteist, exclusionary and hostile; and feelings of lovelessness, loss and heartaches.
Having hopped from gig to gig to make ends meet, he writes of his eventual discovery of the written word, literature and the Ambedkarite legacy, which helped shape his dreams, identity and the eventual career choice of publishing books. In sharing his story, this fresh and radical voice tells his truth in the most frank and unfiltered of ways, as it happened, giving us readers permission to also be vulnerable in telling our tales.
We are lucky as readers to come across this beautiful memoir which is a masterpiece. Yogesh Maitreya’s book captures life, home, politics, cinema with piercing insight and absolute tenderness.— Meena Kandasamy
Unflinching, unsparing, and yet oddly tender Maitreya’s deep hurt, soaring anger and luminous love unsettle and force the reader to look themselves in the face.— Urvashi Butalia
About The Author
Yogesh Maitreya is a writer, poet, translator and publisher. He is the founder and editor of Panther’s Paw Publication that is dedicated to publishing literature by Dalit-Bahujan writers (in English and as translations from other Indian languages). He is the author of Flowers on the Grave of Caste (2019), a collection of short stories, Singing/Thinking Anti Caste (2021), a book of essays on music and memories, and Ambedkar 2021 (2021), a book of prose poetry.