Biography

Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih, born in Sohra, India, writes poetry, drama and fiction in Khasi and English. His latest works include The Distaste of the Earth: A Novel, The Yearning of Seeds: Poems, Time’s Barter: Haiku and Senryu and Around the Hearth: Khasi Legends. He has published poems and stories in Planet: The Welsh Internationalist, Wasafiri, the New Welsh Review, PEN International, the Literary Review, the Oxford Anthology of Writings from Northeast India and more. His awards include the Northeast Poetry Award (2004), the Veer Shankar Shah-Raghunath Shah National Award (2008), a Tagore Fellowship (2018), The Bangalore Review June Jazz Award (2021) and the Sparrow Literary Award (2022). He teaches literature at Northeastern Hill University, Shillong.

Photo credit: Miss Marbiang Khongwir

Reviews


India Today

‘The stories . . . in this 1,000-page book are riveting, but what makes it truly unputdownable are the vital connections it draws to daily life.’


The Telegraph (India)

‘A pathbreaking novel in both its writing and subject, and peppered with unexpected moments of humour, there is much wisdom to be gained from Funeral Nights.’  


The Indian Express

‘It was more like sitting down with old friends and listening to conversations. Amusing, enlightening, witty conversations that opened my eyes, made me think . . . Funeral Nights is the sort of book that should be made required reading. We need many more books like this, insightful and well-written, opening a window on the often-ignored corners of India.’


Hindustan Times

‘Funeral Nights is a seminal work of great scholarship . . . It belongs on the bookshelves of students, journalists, filmmakers, travellers, artists, academics, and of Khasis and non-Khasis interested in culture. It’s an important book, an ethnographic achievement.’  


The Wire (India)

‘Funeral Nights is, without doubt, the strangest book I have read in recent times. Its stories, long and short, fascinate me. Its rich variety fills me with awe.’


The Tribune (India)

‘This easy read, laced with humour, will effortlessly acquaint you with the magical world of this lesser-known tribe.’  


The Hindu

‘Funeral Nights is an intense and acute study of Meghalaya’s socio-cultural mores, its rich natural environment at the mercy of plunderers, and the political twists and turns that have shaped its history.’  


The Shillong Times

‘It is indeed a heady mix and through all of it emerges the life and character of a people caught in the tension between tradition and modernity, culture and change, the old religion and the hegemony of Christianity, ethnic survival and influx, militancy and the scammers of democracy.’  

K. Satchidanandan

‘A closely woven sequence of narratives . . . that Mircea Eliade or Claude Levi-Strauss would have read with admiration.’

Jerry Pinto

‘A novel of huge ambition and tremendous appetite. Or is it a novel at all?’

Janice Pariat

‘Joyously, gloriously, don’t-give-a-damnedly its own thing . . . vast as the sense one gets from gazing at the hills. I am, it tells you, almost endless.’

Nilanjana Roy

‘Extraordinary . . . gorgeous in every way.’


The Assam Tribune

‘Very rarely do we come across a book that leaves us in awe, Funeral Nights will do that to you – it’s a book of epical proportions, taking you into the depths of a tribe’s cultural life.’


Scroll.in

‘Funeral Nights is an epic journey in stories . . . Kynpham Sing Nongkynrih folds a vast history, mythology and ethnography into a giant patchwork narrative.’


The Bangalore Review

‘This 1,024-page novel is a marvel of a book, an extraordinary achievement in Indian fiction, an epic of the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya.’

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