Daisy Rockwell is a painter and translator of Hindi and Urdu literature, living in northern New England. She paints under the takhallus, or alias, Lapata (pronounced ‘laapataa’), which is Urdu for “missing,” or “absconded,” as in “my luggage is missing,” or “the bandits have absconded.” She posts her paintings regularly to Flickr, and has shown her work widely.
Rockwell grew up in a family of artists in western Massachusetts, some whose work adorns the surfaces of chinaware and brightens up the waiting rooms of dentists’ offices, and others whose artistic output has found more select audiences. From 1992-2006, she made a detour into Academia, from which she emerged with a PhD in South Asian literature, a book on the Hindi author Upendranath Ashk and a mild case of depression.
Rockwell has published numerous translations from Hindi and Urdu, including Ashk’s Falling Walls (2015), Bhisham Sahni’s Tamas (2016), and Khadija Mastur’s The Women’s Courtyard. Her translation of Krishna Sobti’s final novel, A Gujarat here, a Gujarat there (Penguin, 2019) was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work in 2019. Her translation of Geetanjali Shree’s Tomb of Sand (Tilted Axis Press, 2021) has been longlisted for the International Booker award. Rockwell has also written The Little Book of Terror, a volume of paintings and essays on the Global War on Terror (Foxhead Books, 2012), and her novel Taste was published by Foxhead Books in April 2014.