About When The Time Is Right

When The Time Is Right
By Buddhadeva Bose
Published in Bengali 1949
Published in English translation by Penguin Books India, 2011

Buddhadeva Bose’s greatest novel is a grand family saga set in Calcutta during the last two decades of British rule. Of Rajen Mitra’s five lovely daughters, it is the youngest – the beautiful, intelligent Swati – who is the apple of her father’s eye. As she grows from an impetuous, spirited child to a lonely young woman, Swati is witness to the upheavals and joys of the Mitra family even as the country slides towards the promise of independence and the inevitability of war.

Anxious to ensure that his daughters find suitable husbands, Rajen-babu realizes that it is only a matter of time before his favourite child too must leave home. While the boorish entrepreneur Prabir Majumdar decides that she will make him a fitting wife, Swati finds herself increasingly drawn to Satyen Roy, the young professor who introduces her to a world of books and the heady poetry of Tagore and Coleridge.

First published in Bengali as Tithidore in 1949, When The Time Is Right is a moving tale of a family and a nation.

About Harbart

Harbart
By Nabarun Bhattacharya
Published in Bengali 1993
Published in English translation by Tranquebar Press, 2011

Harbart Sarkar, sole proprietor of a business that brings messages from the dead to their near and dear ones left behind on earth, is found dead in his room after a night of drinking with local young men. He has killed himself. Why? When he’s taken to the electric crematorium and placed in the furnace, lying on the same cot that he used to sleep on, the furnace explodes. As in his life, Harbart is a mystery in his death and after it. An extraordinary novella by the offbeat Bengali author Nabarun Bhattacharya.

Reviews

Deccan Herald

Tehelka

About Fever

The Fever
By Samaresh Basu
Published in Bengali 1977
To be published in English translation by Random House India, 2011

Ruhiton had fought to encircle cities with villages. Stake your life, but don’t allow the enemy to survive. Ruhiton had not allowed the enemy to survive. Eliminate and surround, continuously. That was who he was. Why then did his heart ache at the thought of his home?

Ruhiton Kurmi has been in jail for seven years. Once a notorious Naxalite, he is now a withered shell of a man, broken by incarceration and torture. The only way he can endure his existence is to shut out the past. But when Ruhiton is moved to a better jail and eventually freed, memories return to haunt him. He looks back upon his youth, his marriage, his home in the Terai foothills – and he remembers, too, the friends he has killed, the revolutionary colleagues he made and the ideals he once believed in.

Dark, powerful and full of ambiguities, The Fever questions the human cost of revolution and its (often) inevitable transience. A sensation in its time, it remains one of the great novels about the Maoist Naxalite movement of the late 60s and profoundly resonant today.

Reviews

Mint

About Seventeen

17 by Anita AgnihotriSeventeen
Short Stories By Anita Agnihotri
Published in Bengali 1985 – 2011
To be published in English translation by Zubaan, 2011

A brother-and-sister visit the unique crater lake that their dead, estranged mother had written to them about in her letters. A middle-class executive’s orderly life turns upside down when his employer holds back his paycheque without an explanation. The employees of a forgotten outpost in a sun-baked town threaten mass suicide because they have no hope of survival. 17 is a collection of short stories from over 100 of Anita Agnihotri’s published short stories. By turn intense, brittle, angry, sad, and torn apart in conflict, the stories bring out different faces of human bondage and explores the country that is still unknown to many. Set in metropolises and in villages, in small-town India and in international suburbia, they run the gamut of experiences both everyday and extraordinary. From deeply personal relationships against the backdrop of turmoil to intensely social truths told through the unique lives of individuals – all of them bathed in human fragility – these stories bring out the best of literary craftspersonship.

About Three Women

Three Women: The Broken Nest, The Two Sisters, The Arbour
By Rabindranath Tagore
Published in Bengali 1901, 1934, 1935
Published in English translation by Random House India, 2010

From the jacket
Three women, three stories of forbidden love.

Ignored by her well-meaning husband, Charulata falls in love with a high-spirited young cousin in The Broken Nest (Nashtaneer, 1901). Sharmila, in Two Sisters (Dui Bon, 1933) witnesses her husband sink her fortunes and his passion into his business – and her sister. And the invalid Neeraja finds her life slowly ebbing away as a new love awakens for her beloved husband in The Arbour (Malancha, 1934). Romantic, subtle and nuanced, Rabindranath Tagore’s novellas are about the undercurrents in relationships, the mysteries of love, the ties and bonds of marriage, and above all about the dreams and desires of women.

Reviews

The Asian Age

Bookslut