The wide-ranging essays presented in this book deal more with the practical than with the theoretical aspects of translation. The emphasis throughout is on the element of discovery inherent in the making as well as in the reading of translations. The author states that translation is necessary to any developed literary culture, and argues that translation into English has made it possible for an Indian literary text to be read and discussed more widely than it could be in any other Indian language. The first section of the book deals with the role of the translator and the methods s/he could adopt. The second section almost amounts to a practical criticism course on translation, giving the reader tools to evaluate a translation.
Sujit Mukherjee (1930–2003) was publisher, author, translator, literary critic as well as cricketer and cricket commentor. He was educated in Patna and the University of Pennsylvania from which he earned his PhD. On his return to India, Dr Mukherjee taught at Patna College, the National Defence Academy, and, as it was then known, the University of Poona. In 1970 he joined Orient Longman (now Orient BlackSwan) as Chief Publisher and was later a director on the board of the company. Dr Mukherjee, translated poetry, fiction and criticism from Bangla into English. He also edited translations and was associated with their publication. He was actively involved with writing about Indian literature for almost three decades, and was known as much for his prolific and elegant writing as for his wry wit.