Born in 1947 at Silchar, Assam, Nirmal Kanti Bhattacharjee, an M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University briefly taught English literature at G C College, Silchar, before joining the Editorial Department of the prestigious Encyclopedia of Indian Literature Project undertaken by the Sahitya Akademi. Later he took charge of Sahitya Akademi’s Eastern Regional Office at Kolkata as its Secretary where the nature of his work involved conceptualizing and publishing of books in five languages, organizing literary seminars, symposia, translation workshops etc. in the region.
In 1998, he was appointed Director of the National Book Trust (NBT), India. During his term (1998-2002) there, he oversaw the celebration of the Year of the Book (2001), declared by the Government of India, and served on panels of many national and international bodies.
In 2002, he rejoined the Sahitya Akademi and worked as Editor, Indian Literature, Akademi’s bi-monthly journal, till his retirement in 2007. Immediately thereafter, he was appointed Director of the K K Birla Foundation, a private trust devoted to the cause of art, literature and education. He worked in this capacity till 2013.
Widely travelled and internationally feted, Mr. Bhattacharjee has been associated with respected organizations as advisor/commentator/ script-writer for literature-based documentaries and features. He has also regularly contributed articles and reviews for the literary pages of newspapers and journals including The Statesman, The Times of India, The Book Review and The Biblio.
An accomplished translator from Bengali into English and vice-versa, his English translations of Mahasveta Devi’s Armanian Champak Tree, Sunil Gangopadhyay’s The Dreadful Beauty, Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay’s The Ghost of Gosain Bagan and the Bengali translation of U R Anantamurthy’s short story collection Suryer Ghora O Anyanya Galpo have been critically acclaimed. In 2012 he was awarded the Best Translator Award from India by the International Board for Books for the Young (IBBY) and felicitated at King’s College, London. In addition, he co-edits Translation Today, the web-journal of the Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, and is a Member of the Programme Advisory Committee of the National Translation Mission launched by the Govt of India.
Since August, 2013 he has been working as the Editorial Director of Niyogi Books, a reputed publishing house based in Delhi.