- Book Genre: Classics
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Indian novelists of the twentieth century. His novels, serialized in periodicals and subsequently published in book form, earned Saratchandra immense fame in the early decades of the century, and established him as Bengal's master storyteller. Even today, seven decades after his death, Saratchandra remains one of the most popular novelists in Bengal, and is widely read in translation across India as well. 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. The first volume features five novels: Srikanta, Devdas, Parineeta, Palli Samaj and Nishkriti. 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.
Book Pages : 752
"SARATCHANDRA CHATTOPADHYAY (1876–1938) was born in Devanandapur, an obscure village of Bengal. His childhood and youth were spent in dire poverty as his father, Matilal Chattopadhyay, was an idler and dreamer and gave little security to his five children. Saratchandra received very little formal education but inherited something valuable from his father—his imagination and love of literature. He started writing in his early teens and two stories written then have survived—‘Korel’ and ‘Kashinath’. Saratchandra came to maturity at a time when the national movement was gaining momentum together with an awakening of social consciousness. Much of his writing bears the mark of the resultant turbulence of society. A prolific writer, he found the novel an apt medium for depicting this and, in his hands, it became a powerful weapon of social and political reform. Sensitive and daring, his novels captivated the hearts and minds of thousands of readers not only in Bengal but all over India. Some of his best-known novels are Palli Samaj (1916), Charitraheen (1917), Devdas (1917), Nishkriti (1917), Srikanta in four parts (1917, 1918, 1927 and 1933), Griha Daha (1920) and Sesher Parichay published posthumously (1939)."