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The Saratchandra Omnibus (Volume 1)

Saratchandra Chattopadhyay (Author) Sreejata Guha (Translator) Malobika Chaudhuri (Translator) Aruna Chakravarti (Translator)
Synopsis This collector's edition of Saratchandra's works in English translation brings together the writer's most renowned and best-loved novels in two omnibus volumes. Srikanta is the story of a wanderer who observes the people around him; through them-especially the women he loves and respects, from the sacrificing Annada Didi and the rebellious Abhaya to the housewife Rajlakshmi and the courtesan Pyari Bai-he tries to arrive at an understanding of life. Devdas, on the other hand, is the tragic tale of a man who drives himself to drink and debilitation when he is unable to marry his childhood sweetheart Paro. In Parineeta (Espoused), the orphaned Lalita is secretly in love with her guardian Shekhar, but circumstances conspire to drive the two apart. Palli Samaj (The Village life) has Ramesh, an engineer, returning to the village of his birth to try and rid it of the backwardness that plagues it, even as he tries to revive his childhood ties with Rama, now a widow. In Nishkriti (Deliverance), the strong-willed Shailaja, the youngest daughter-in-law in a joint family, is made an outcast as a result of a misunderstanding; much later, her elders realize their mistake, just in time to save the family from disintegration. Each of the novels showcases the qualities Saratchandra is famous for: everyday stories told in a simple yet gripping style, strong characters, meticulous plotting, true-to-life dialogue, and unforgettable depictions of life in turn-of-the century Bengal. Translated especially for Penguin, these classic novels will delight those new to Saratchandra's works as well as those who want to return to them again.
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About the authors

Saratchandra Chattopadhyay

Saratchandra Chattopadhyay was born on 15 September 1876 in Devanandapur, a village of West Bengal. He grew up in dire poverty and received very little formal education. After spending some of his youth in Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur, Saratchandra left for Burma in 1903, and it was from Burma that he began to send his stories and novels to magazines in Kolkata. Sensitive and daring, Saratchandra’s writings captivated the hearts and minds of readers, and he soon became Bengal’s most popular novelist. Saratchandra returned to Kolkata in 1916, and dedicated himself to writing. He was India’s first successful professional writer – a person who earned his entire livelihood only from writing. He died in 1938. Saratchandra remains one of the best-loved Indian novelists of all time; his works have been translated into various languages and made into films as well. Among his best-known novels are Srikanta, Devdas, Palli Samaj, Parineeta, Charitraheen, Grihadaha and Pather Dabi.

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Sreejata Guha

Sreejata Gupta has an MA in Comparative Literature from State University of New York at Stony Brook. She has worked as a translator and editor with Stree Publication, Seagull Books and Jacaranda Press. She has previously translated Picture Imperfect, a collection of Saradindu Bandyopadhyay’s Byomkesh Bakshi stories, Taslima Nasrin’s Novel French Lover and Saratchandra Chhattopadhyay’s Devdas for Penguin. Her translation of Tagore’s Home and the World is forthcoming in penguin.

Malobika Chaudhuri

Malobika Chaudhuri runs Mono Translation Bureau, a multi-lingual translation agency, in Kolkata. Her translations of several of Saratchandra’s novels are forthcoming.

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 Saratchandra Omnibus (Volume 1)
Format Softcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0144000148
length vi+739p., Glossary; 22cm.