Barua, Navakanta (1926–2002) By Misra, Tilottoma
Navakanta Barua was one of the best known Assamese modernist writers of the twentieth century who worked through multiple genres. A graduate from the Visva Bharati University and with an MA from the Aligarh Muslim University, he joined Cotton College, Guwahati as a Lecturer in English in 1954, where he worked till his retirement from service. During his lifetime, Navakanta published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and songs, five novels, eight volumes of non-fictional prose and literary criticism, besides a substantial body of children’s literature. He edited two children’s magazines (Jonbai and Pohar) and a journal of art and culture (Seerolu). He translated into Asamiya the verses of Kabir and some of the major works of Euripides, Goethe, Pushkin, Rabindranath Tagore, Nazrul Islam, Sumitranandan Pant, Subramanyam Bharati, Walt Whitman and T. S. Eliot. Some of his best translations render the texture and nuances of the original in a brilliantly creative manner.