Centrepiece : New Writing And Art From Northeast India – Parismita Singh


Centrepiece is a gorgeous collection, with page after page of beauty and surprise. What emerges is a heterogeneous series of portraits and worldviews. There is a clear–and admirable–refusal to pander to the non-Northeastern gaze, and so an outsider reader does not suffer from a niggling sense of voyeurism either. Both female experiences and the distinct cultures of the Northeast are given primacy in a rare and rewarding way. There is so much here to enjoy and be educated by.”
— “Open”

“Edited by Parismita Singh, the anthology collates diverse perspectives and positions, memories and motifs to convey the idea of women at work in the Northeast. Through visual and word for­mats, this aesthetic is explored thro­ugh stories, poems, essays and art works. . . . The non-­linear architecture of the book, with its visual-word interplay, makes it a refreshing addition to anthologies on the Northeast.”
— “Outlook”

“The writing and art manage to delineate the complexities and contradictions associated with the Northeastern identity without exoticising the region or its people. Centrepiece through a wide variety of writings and images brings to the readers, stories of a region which still remains largely absent in the popular imagination.”
— “ThePrint”

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This book brings you a wealth of stories, in words and images, from a part of India known as the Northeast, a term that is widely contested for the ways in which it homogenises a region of great diversity. It is also a term that has come to be a marker of identity and solidarity by many who are of the region. Here, 21 writers and artists look at the idea of ‘work’ — from street hawking to beer brewing, from mothering to dung collection — and describe their lives or those of others with humour and compassion. Parismita Singh’s wonderful compilation of the works of women asks: what are the different ways of telling a story? What if we were to attempt these tellings through poetry and portraits and essays, older traditions like textile art and applique and new genres like hashtag poetry tapped into a smartphone? Where would it take us, what would the world look like?

Contributors: Zubeni Lotha | Minam Apang | Alyen Leeachum Foning | Aheli Moitra | Soibam Haripriya | Gertrude Lamare | Rini Barman | Nitoo Das | Thingnam Anjulika Samom | Parismita Singh | Dolly Kikon | Ayangbe Mannen | Aungmakhai Chak | Jacqueline Zote | Meena Laishram | Prashansa Gurung | Shreya Debi and Bilseng R Marak | Mona Zote | Nabina Das | Mamang Dai | Sanatombi Ningombam | Kundo Yumnam

About the Author

Parismita Singh is a writer, graphic novelist and educationist. Her graphic novel The Hotel at the End of the World was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award (2009-10). She helped conceptualise the Pao Anthology of Comics. Her publications include graphic novels for children Mara and the Clay Cows, Crab Chronicles and Fat King Thin Dog. She has been working on a primary school education project in Assam with the NGO Pratham since 2009.