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Chuden Kabimo: Song of the Soil


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Translated from the Nepali by Ajit Baral
Published 2021
ISBN: 979-8407413295
Paperback 164 pages

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‘Song of the Soil is a shining example of how one can write about a violent incident without
recreating the violence. The author blends bildungsroman with a conflict story with great
dexterity, bringing out new aspects of both forms. This book is able to make poetry out of

brutal situations, but does so with honesty, humour and gentleness’

The JCB Prize for Literature Jury

On a day of earthquake and rain, a young man gets bad news. Ripden, his childhood friend,
has been swept away by a landslide. He makes his way back home to the village of his birth,
and remembers their shared childhood – harsh teachers and truancy, bullies and backyard
fights, and above all he remembers the day they ran away together to find out what
happened to Ripden’s father, who vanished years earlier in the revolution for a separate
state in the late 1980s.
‘This intense, evocatively translated novella takes us into the beating heart of a mountain
community as it examines hopes, aspirations and betrayed dreams. Truly a song of the soil,

it carries the breath of life’

Namita Gokhale, author of Things to Leave Behind

‘A thing of beauty – and an important book that deserves to be read in many languages’

Prajwal Parajuly, author of The Gurkha’s Daughter

Chuden Kabimo is based in Kalimpong, India. He received the Yuwa Sahitya Akademi
Puraskar (an award given by the Indian government for the best book published in a given
language) for a collection of short stories titled 86 (). Song of the Soil is his first novel.
Ajit Baral is a Kathmandu based writer, translator, publisher and the director of the Nepal
Literature Festival, the only international literature festival in the country now in its 10th
year. He is the author of The Lazy Conman and Other Stories: Folktales from Nepal (Penguin


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