Emeritus Professor Satendra Nandan with one of his books that was launched on 24 March, 2017.
Two new books authored by leading writer and Emeritus Professor Satendra Nandan were launched at The University of the South Pacific (USP) on 24 March 2017, at the Laucala Campus in Suva.
Professor Rajesh Chandra, Vice-Chancellor and President, welcomed everyone to the Pacific Technical and Further Education’s (Pacific TAFE’s) Pacific Fusion Restaurant and also took time to acknowledge its Director Mr Hasmukh Lal and the work of Pacific TAFE.
He extended a special welcome to the Honourable Justice Anthony Gates, Chief Justice of Fiji, and to Professor Nandan, a public intellectual, academic, writer and former politician.
Dispatches from Distant Shores (Essays), which was launched by Justice Gates, is a book of essays covering a variety of subjects from cricket, freedom, national identity, migrants, friendships, refugees and politics.
In launching the book, Justice Gates said the reader will encounter several ringing pithy phrases.
“These are not philosophical essays, in the mould of Francis Bacon. But they make many profound observations on life in general and indeed on our life and times. As one of the blurbs said correctly, the author demonstrates a life of political awareness and ethical responsibility. Awareness rather than politics itself is Nandan’s emblem,” he stated.
“Though he has served in Parliament and has been one of Her Fijian Majesty’s Ministers, I do not see him as a person animated by the cut and thrust of daily political life. Professor Nandan is however animated by books.
“His reading is woven into his prose without self-consciousness. The references add depth, elucidation, warmth and meaning. Learning is not used as a merely scholarly footnote,” Justice Gates added.
Across the Seven Seas (Poetry), which was launched by Professor Sudesh Mishra, Head of USP’s School of Language, Arts & Media (SLAM), features poems capturing the poet’s adolescence in rural Nadi and the effect of political turmoil on his own life and on the life of the country.
Professor Mishra said the Nadi poems brought back images of his own childhood in that town. The strongest lines in the collection, he said, are “those that strive for simplicity”.
Professor Nandan acknowledged the support he received in publishing his books and thanked USP for hosting the launch.
“USP is the most beautiful university in the world and I am not only referring to the people and the campus. This is where my life began when I first started writing poems,” he said.
He also thanked Professor Chandra, Chief Justice Gates, Professor Mishra and the Tappoo Foundation and for the gift of friendship.
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