We are thrilled to announce that “The Old Man of Kusumpur,” written by Amar Mitra and translated from the Bengali by Anish Gupta, has been selected for the O. Henry Prize for 2022. The story was originally published in The Common Online. An anthology of the winning stories, edited by Valeria Luiselli, will be released this September from Anchor.
This is the first year the O. Henry Prize series has considered fiction in translation. In the prize announcement, series editor Jenny Minton Quigley writes, “If stories give us a window through which to momentarily enter the soul of another person, then translated stories magically transcend the limits of the language that has shaped our consciousness.“
View the full list of winners and read more about the prize at LitHub.
Congratulations to Amar, Anish, and all the winners!
“The Old Man of Kusumpur” Wins O. Henry Prize 2022
Fakirchand of Kusumpur set out on his way to meet the Big Man. A bundle of meagre belongings hung on his back from one end of a cane stick that rested on his shoulder. Old Fakirchand walked with a slight stoop.
It was moments before sunrise, and the March morning was soft and cool with a genial air and the earth still pleasant to walk on. The cocks were still crowing. Swarms of little children were already out in the open. Old Fakirchand walked slowly, as though measuring each step, and raised both hands to his forehead in obeisance or ‘pranam’ to the rising sun. Yes, his eyes felt better and so did his body. In the brisk morning air, he touched his rheumy eyes with his cold hands.