Prof. Alongla P. Aier , teacher, speaker and Nagaland State Brand Ambassador for Poshan Abhiyan released Studies in Contemporary Naga Writings, the first volume of the Heritage Critical Studies, a new series of critical writings under Heritage Publishing House by first time authors, A. Sentiyula (Assistant Professor in English, Dimapur Govt. College) and Bendangsenla (Assistant Professor in English, Zunheboto Govt. College) on the 12th of January in the West City Conference Room, D.C Court Police Point, Dimapur. The program was chaired by Newtoli K. Yeptho, Assistant Professor, Zunheboto Govt. College and the Dedicatory Prayer was pronounced by Rev. Dr. Ellen Konyak.
The authors stated that, as teachers, they wrote the essays contained in the book keeping in mind the lack of reference materials for students studying Naga Writings in English- specifically the writings of Temsula Ao, Easterine Kire, Monalisa Changkija and Nini Lungalang. They also took the different theoretical concepts taught in colleges and combined the two, to act as a bridge between theory and praxis, and between the reader and the text. In the process, they had also examined recurring themes and tropes in contemporary Naga writings, which they believe are indicative of the social and cultural milieu of the Nagas. The book also contains reviews of two new books- – Centrepiece: New Writing and Art from Northeast India, edited by Parismita Singh and Seven Stones: Short Stories by Longranty Longchar.
In her Response to the book, Dr. S. Elika Assumi, Assistant Professor in English, ICFAI University stated that the collection of essays is undoubtedly groundbreaking and more than just critical insights into key Naga writings, as much as it can be considered a necessary handbook for college and university students- in order to learn and gain methods of critically analyzing literary texts. She further added that this volume by Heritage Publishing House is proof that we are evolving beyond mere praising or review of a literary text, while likening the two authors to the two brave warriors in the oft-repeated folktale of the manuscript and the dog, except that now they represent not male ingenuity, but rather female profundity by allowing the reader to understand the written text in a tangible form. She also expressed optimism that more such studies will be available across disciplines and in translation in the days to come.