New Delhi: The memoir of Yogesh Maitreya, a leading independent Indian Dalit publisher, writer and poet, will hit the stands on April 22, announced Penguin Random House India (PRHI) on Sunday.
Encompassing experiences of pain, loneliness, depravation, alienation, and the political consciousness of his caste identity, the intimately moving memoir, “Water in a Broken Pot” is a story of “resilience and raw brutality”.
“It is a story of making pain look not absolute when dealt with determination, while searching for love and many meanings it contributes in our lives. This book is a promise we all must make to ourselves in the journey against the struggle of oppression,” said Maitreya, founder and editor of ‘Panther’s Paw Publication’ — dedicated to publishing literature by Dalit-Bahujan writers.
Growing up in a working-class family with meagre wages to get by in life, Maitreya in the book writes of his father’s struggle against alcohol and passion for cinema; working day and night shifts in factories; the struggle of being lost, overlooked and unmentored in India’s schooling, college and University systems, exclusionary and hostile; and feelings of lovelessness, loss and heartaches.
Having hopped from gig to gig to make ends meet, the author shares his “eventual discovery of the written word, literature and the Ambedkarite legacy, which helped shape his dreams, identity and the eventual career choice of publishing books”.
According to the publishers, the fresh and radical voice of Maitreya “tells his truth in the most frank and unfiltered of ways”, giving the readers permission to also be vulnerable in telling their tales.
The book is endorsed by the likes of Padma Shri awardee, feminist writer and publisher Urvashi Butalia, and Hermann Kesten award recipient and poet Meena Kandasamy.
While Butalia called the memoir “unflinching” and “unsparing”, Kandasamy described it as a “masterpiece”.
Maitreya’s previously authored books include 2019’s “Flowers on the Grave of Caste”, a collection of short stories; “Singing/Thinking Anti Caste” (2021), a book of essays on music and memories; and “Ambedkar 2021” (2021), a book of prose poetry.