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Govardhan's Travels: A Novel

Anand (Author)
Synopsis 'The most memorable literary event of my experience . . . Govardhan is that common man who seeks justice from history, from time and society and is punished. Govardhan is everyman. He is a survivor and his story is everyman’s story.' — Mahasveta Devi. Halfway through his famous play on injustice, Andher Nagari Choupat Raja, Bharatendu Harishchandra stops: What is the duty of a writer—to depict reality as it exists or to project what it should actually be? Unable to decide, Bharatendu abandons the play and releases Govardhan, the main character who is unjustly condemned to death, from drama to real life. The noose still hangs over Govardhan’s head as he walks out of prison as a representative of all those who are victims of the ruthlessness and absurdity of justice. He questions everyone he encounters and raises a storm which gains momentum as he journeys through space and time. The lines between fact and fiction blur as a host of people from mythology, history and literature join him, some asking questions, like him, and others opposing them. As we follow Govardhan’s meanderings, we realize that his journey will never end, for with the passage of time he will find more places to visit and more people to meet, even as the ever-present noose tightens around his neck. Ultimately, there can be no escape for the Govardhans of this world. Anand’s imaginative recreation of Govardhan’s life after his release from prison maintains the farcical nature of Bharatendu’s work, although it moves away from the comfortable ending of Andher Nagari Choupat Raja. It provides a terrifying portrait of the cruelty and irrationality of the world which we contend as civilized.
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About the author


ANAND is the pseudonym of P Sachidanandan who was born in 1936 in Kerala. Known for his serious and thought provoking works of fiction, Anand has regularly written on current topics and social themes. His major works are Aalkppttam, Abaryarthikal, Marubhoomi Untakunnatu (available in English translation as Desert Shadows), Govardhante Yatrakal, Vyasanum Vigneshwaranum. He has also written a few collections of short stories, two plays and articles. Anand has received various awards for his writings including the Kerala and Kendra Sahitya Akademi awards.

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Bibliographic information

Title Govardhan's Travels: A Novel
Author Anand
Format Softcover
Date published: 12.07.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0143101331
length 438p.