Overview for A Long Day's Night
The story is set in a small university campus, where Virendra Chauhan--a research scientist--and his students are trying to set right a key instrument which has failed to function since its arrival. Although the faulty machine and the attempts to make it work form the core of the narrative, it expands into an allegory of the human spirit--its sorrows and joys, strife and peace, its unending quest--rooted in contemporary social reality. All the events in the story take place on one particular day. As one goes through the book, one views the external world through the consciousness of an individual who is highly sensitive to all forms of nature yet at times is quite detached from the characters around him. The protagonist, both a participant and an observer, carries the reader along with him as he goes in and out of the human universe and keeps watching himself as much as we watch him. Yet, the passion for knowledge through science research and the passion for human beings and their ambitions through his concern for students, throb in him. All through the book one wonders how the day would end. It does and it does not. The collapsing of all times does create an image of both eternity and temporality, local and universal, closed yet open, and in some ways deeply spiritual. The story starts as the first rays of the sun touch the earth; it fades out deep in the evening magically. This is a particularly engaging book for the serious reader. One has to go through it slowly at times and read closely at some places for the nuances to be caught. What heightens the impact of the novel is its use of the language, in crisp dialogues, in evocative descriptions, and in the handling of transitions of moods, to experience the world created in it.
Pradip Ghosh (Author)
Educated at Calcutta, Indiana, and Rice Universities, Pradip Ghosh taught at Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur for more than thirty years. He was also a Visiting Professor at Mount Holyoke Collete, Gustavus Adolphus College, and most recently Pomona College in the US. His scientific books have been published by Prentice-Hall of India, New Delhi, John Wiley & Sons, New York, and Clarendon Press, Oxford. This is his first work of fiction.