A poet, a storyteller and a novelist, Easterine Kire (Iralu) from Nagaland is one of the finest in her field Northeast India has ever given birth to. She has to her credit four English novels, including three volumes of poetry and short stories.
Her first novel ‘A Naga Village Remembered’ was released in the year 2003. It became the first-ever Naga novel to be published. Easterine has translated about 200 oral poems from her native language, Tenyidie, into English. Her latest books include ‘Forest Song’, a volume of spirit stories and ‘Bitter Wormwood’, a novel on the Indo-Naga conflict.
Easterine Kire’s works reflect the unpleasant realities of life in Nagaland and the complexities around the colonial atrocities and discrimination. It also highlights the in-house rivalry and ideological differences that existed among the Naga brethren who fought for freedom. She brings out poignantly the fascinating and vibrant Naga culture for the rest of the world to see, through her prolific writings that arouse a charm for its age old traditions and scintillating folklores from the deepest corners of the mystic state that Nagaland is.
‘Mari’, her bestselling novel (Harper Collins, 2010) narrates the true story of a young mother who, after losing her Fiancé in the World War II, bravely makes the decision to live on for her child and discovers happiness once again. It also portrays some unknown aspects of the World War II, like a lesser known but ferocious battle fought against the Japanese troops in Nagaland.
‘Bitter Wormwood’ (Zubaan Books, 2012) is a stirring insight on the Indo-Naga conflict, a 70 years’ long freedom struggle that had altogether changed the lives of the common people in Nagaland. The book has been shortlisted for the Hindu Literary Prize 2013.
Easterine has also been actively involved in working towards better opportunities for the Naga youth, and nurturing and popularizing the Naga folktales. In December 2011, she released her first children’s book in English in Nagaland.
She is also the Founder-partner of the publishing house called Barkweaver, which publishes Naga folktales, children’s stories and real stirring stories of ordinary people. Easterine Kire has a Ph.D in English Literature from University of Pune.