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The Inheritors

Aruna Chakravarti (Author)
Synopsis From the ritual-bound household of an orthodox scholar in a small village in Bengal in 1897 to Germany and Mumbai at the turn of the new millennium, the inheritors follows the shifting life patterns of a family through a melange of narratives, memories and characters. The unrelenting Puritanism of Nyayaratna Bishnupada Deb Sharma drives his daughter Radharani to insanity and throws into sharp relief his grandson Shibkali's feeble attempt to break free, ultimately foiled by the weight of generations of adherence to tradition. Giribala voices her resentment against her circumstances through a lifetime of silence, her destiny finding an echo in her daughter Alo, tragic victim of her husband's sexual perversions. And Pramatha's depraved radicalism is set against Shashishekhar's progressive outlook which symbolizes the most significant departure from the stifling constraints of his community. Even as it inherits the dead wood of the past, each generation strives to liberate itself, setting the stage for the eternal conflict between tradition and change, between a legacy and its inheritors. Aruna Chakravarti draws upon history and myth, religion and folklore, rituals and culinary practices to create a vivid portrait of a community of Vaidic Kulin Brahmins. The narrative, oscillating back and forth in time, weaves a vibrant tapestry of life--differing ideologies and sensibilities, suicides and desertions, marriages and infidelities, bigotry and liberalism--set in the larger context of a nation's inexorable march towards independence and a society caught on the cusp of conservatism and modernity.
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About the author

Aruna Chakravarti

Aruna Chakravarti is a well-known academic, writer and translator. Prominent among her many publications are her translations of Saratchandra Chatterjee’s Srikanta and Sunil Gangopadhyay’s Sei Samai (Those Days) and its sequel Pratham Also (First Light), published by Penguin Books India in 1993, 1997 and 2001 respectively. She is the recipient of several awards, among them the Vaitalik Award (1986), the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award (1996) and the Sarat Puraskar (2004). Her first novel, The Inheritors, was published by Penguin Books India to critical acclaim and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 2004.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Inheritors
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 014303216X
length xvi+340p.