Lhutu Keyho’s book ‘Avila’s lover and other stories’ released
Kohima, Sep. 12 (EMN): A book titled “Avila’s lover and other stories-I” written by Lhutu Keyho was released by Dr. Easterine Kire, publisher Barkweaver publications this evening, Sep. 12 at Riverburg Memorial Hall, Mission Compound, Kohima.
The young author, 29-year old Lhutu Keyho born in Phek town holds a masters degree in English Literature from North eastern Hills University. His first story “A pair of gulaams” was published in 2015 in a collection entitled “Raconteurs from the Hills” by Penthrill Publications.
Keyho’s story “The labour unionist” won the Wordweavers’ short story competition in 2017 organised by Wordweavers India. He currently teaches at Baptist College, Kohima.
Avila’s lover and other stories, the first volume of Keyho’s short stories represent contemporary life in the towns and villages of present day Nagaland through a voice that is newly emerging in Naga fiction- The Naga male voice.
Comprising of eight short stories that effectively capture the Naga psyche where the situations are recognisable and the characters are people who the reader is likely to meet on an everyday basis.
In her note, Kire observed that reading culture is still very young in Naga society, and impressed upon the young people to inculcate the habit of reading and start by reading short stories.
Stating that our land is filled with stories and its people breathe stories, Kire said it would be a privilege for the young people to share stories. Congratulating the young author, Kire said he is the voice of the men in the field of literary, which at present is dominated by the women, and hope that he would come up with more books in the future.
Presenting the reader’s perspective, Dr, Vizovono Elizabeth said all the stories are distinct and deal with different themes. The common thread that binds them, she observed is the insightful portrayal of contemporary Naga society. The characters in the stories are all typically Naga and are drawn from the lives of common, ordinary citizens where their experiences are very relatable.
Further describing the book, Elizabeth said “It could very well be the story of any one of us, which makes the stories resonate well. We find that it is about the lives of ordinary people whose destinies are defined by the many forces of the social environment in which they live be it the government, the underground forces, illegal taxation; liaisons, or even mysterious supernatural incidences attributed to spirit presence in our midst”.
Appreciating the author for presenting the stories with raw honesty, many of the social evils that plague our society, she said Keyho has brought to the fore issues that ‘we have become complacent about, or some which we pretend does not exist’.
“Keyho writes in an understated tone, without blatant condemnation, yet he effectively highlights and draws our attention to all the dirt we have conveniently swept under the carpet” added Elizabeth.
Portraying the book that ultimately represents the voice of the youth, Elizabeth said the author explicitly deals with the things that the youth are concerned about- ‘love and relationships, infidelity, greed, corruption, politics government, unemployment, and parenting’.