Janet Hujon grew up in Shillong when it was still the capital of Assam. She was still there when the tribal homeland of the Khasi, Jaintia, and Garo people was recognised as an autonomous state named Meghalaya. After completing her MA at the North Eastern Hill University (Shillong), she continued her formal education at the Universities of Cambridge and London where she attained a PhD in English Literature. She currently lives in Cambridge with her children, working part-time and writing part-time. Memories of the past both solace and disturb the author’s experiencing of the present. The gentle landscapes of the Khasi Hills have always nourished her spirit and the powerful telling of stories she heard as a child continue to fire her imagination. The Khasi value systems, proudly and poignantly expressed by the Khasi poet Soso Tham, form the foundation of her literary efforts and influence her world view.
Despite all the evils of colonisation, the author is indebted to the English language which gave her entry into other worlds of the imagination: the St. James Bible, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, Ted Hughes, Gillian Clarke, Robert Macfarlane, Lorca, Machado, Darwish, Raja Shehadeh, Steinbeck, Tennessee Williams and most of all Pablo Neruda. Happily, the list continues to lengthen. Reading, writing and translating helps Hujon to discover the human voice telling of those joys and sorrows common to us all without each rendition losing that unique freshness springing from a certain time and place.
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HIMALAYA, the Journal of the Association for Nepal and Himalayan Studies: Vol. 36
, Article 16.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/himalaya/vol36/iss2/16