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Debjani Chatterjee


Delhi-born Debjani Chatterjee is one of Britain's best-known Asian writers. She worked in the steel industry, education and community relations before becoming a full-time writer and storyteller who often works in schools, libraries and community centres. She was the Poetry Society's Poet-in-residence at Sheffield Children's Hospital in 2000. Other important residencies were at Glasgow's Kelvin Arts Gallery and Museum, Sheffield's Millennium Galleries and Bedfordshire Education Department. An award-winning poet, she has written, edited or translated over 35 books for children and adults. Twisting Yarn Theatre toured her multilingual play for children, 'The Honoured Guest', and Faber & Faber published it. A past Chair of the Arts Council's Literary Translation panel, Debjani now chairs the National Association of Writers in Education and is Vice-Chair of Bengali Women's Support Group. She is a founder-member of Mini Mushaira. In 2002 Sheffield Hallam University awarded an honorary doctorate for her 'outstanding contribution to literature and service to the community'. For more on Debjani and her books please see


The Elephant-Headed God & Other Hindu Tales (Lutterworth Press, Cambridge; '89), ISBN 0 7188 2786 4. Published in the USA by OUP; in India by Rupa; and in Portuguese translation in Brazil. Selected for Children's Books of the Year 1990. [12 stories for middle school children, b & w illustrations] £4.50 Indian edition
I Was That Woman (Hippopotamus Press, '89. Also published in India by Writers Workshop, Calcutta, '97. A French translation, Cette Femme La.,  published by L'Harmattan, Paris, 2000). [Poetry] £5.99 Indian edition
Barbed Lines ed. with Rashida Islam (BWSG Book Project & Yorkshire Art Circus, '90). Won the first Raymond Williams Community Publishing Prize 1990 [Bi-lingual prose & poetry by women & teenagers] £6.50
The Parrot's Training translated from Rabindranath Tagore's Bengali (The Tagore Centre UK, Alexandra Park Library, Alexandra Park Rd, London N22 4UJ; '93), ISBN 0 9513368 3 5 [Prose allegory, illustrated]
Sweet and Sour ed. with Rehana Choudhury, Karabi Ghose & Rashida Islam (BWSG Book Project, '93). [Bi-lingual prose & poetry on the subject of food by women & teenagers] £6.50
Sufi Stories From Around the World (Harper Collins, India; '94). [19 Muslim stories for middle school children, b & w illustrations]
Nyamia and the Bag of Gold (Longman Education, '94), ISBN 0 582 12162 0. Also available in Welsh translation. [4 folk tales from Africa, India, Bangladesh & Poland for children, colour illustrations] £4
The Most Beautiful Child (Cambridge University Press, '96), ISBN 0 52146879 5. Also on audio-cassette. [Children's picture book, colour illustrations] £4. An Indian edition is published by Foundation Books.
The Snake Prince & Other Folk Tales From Bengal ed. with Rehana Choudhury (Bengali Women's Support Group, Sheffield; '99), ISBN 0 9519821 4 1 [10 bi-lingual & illustrated folk tales for children] £7.99
Albino Gecko (University of Salzburg Press, 1998) ISBN 3 7052 0161 1 [Poetry] £7.95
Animal Antics (Pennine Pens, Hebden Bridge; 2000) ISBN 1 873378 03 3 [Poetry for schoolchildren, b & w cartoon illustrations by the author] £5.95
The Redbeck Anthology of British South Asian Poetry (Redbeck Press, Bradford, 2000) ISBN 0 946980 76 4. Won the Raymond Williams Runner-up Prize 2001 [Poetry by 74 contributors] £9.95
Nazrul Islam poster-poems + notes (Survivors' Poetry, London, 2001). [6 bi-lingual posters featuring poems & songs by Bangladesh's national poet, & in English translation, with teaching notes for secondary schools] £13.50
Who Cares? Reminiscences of Yemeni Carers (Sheffield Carers Centre, 2001) [Oral history by Yemeni carers in Arabic & English] £6.50
My Birth Was Not in Vain: Selected Poems by Seven Bengali Women ed. with Safuran Ara (Sheffield Libraries, 2001) ISBN 0 86321 2425 [Bi-lingual poetry, women's studies] £8.99
Rainbow World: Poems from Many Cultures ed. with Bashabi Fraser (Hodder Wayland, 2003 & 2004) Shortlisted for EMMA 2004 Best Book Award [Poetry for children aged 9+] £10.99 hbk, £4.99 pbk
Daughters of a Riverine Land ed. with Ashoka Sen (BWSG Book Project, 2003) ISBN 0 9519821 6 8 [33 women's writing & artwork in Bengali & English] £7.50
Generations of Ghazals: Ghazals by Nasir & Basir Kazmi (Redbeck Press, 2003) ISBN 1 904338 08 9 [Urdu poetry in translation] £7.95
Plays for Children 2 with 3 other playwrights (Faber & Faber, 2004) ISBN 0 571 22080 0 [Plays for primary school children] £12.99

Namaskar: New & Selected Poems (Redbeck Press, 2004) ISBN 1 904338 06 2. £9.95.
Masala: Poems from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (Macmillan, 2005) ISBN 0 330 41501 8 [South Asian Poems] £4.99.