The Fifth Man
Fiction

The Fifth Man

Overview

Neelam’s hysterectomy at thirty hastens her into a sexless middle age and changes her relationship with her husband Ari. Their marriage remains stagnant until an unexpected telegram announces the visit of Ari’s ex-girlfriend Esha. By coincidence, their college professor Mahanam also arrives at their doorstep bearing an uncanny resemblance to Ari’s daughter. Events conspire to send all of them on a trip to Ajanta and Ellora where ancient stories spark memories of lost love and betrayal. Both deeply philosophical and playfully dramatic, The Fifth Man is a bittersweet meditation on middle-age desire.

Bani Basu
Bani Basu
Bani Basu is arguably the most versatile contemporary writer in Bengali, the broad range of her fiction deals with gender, history, mythology, society, psychology, adolescence, music, sexual orientation, the supernatural, and more. Besides writing novels and short stories, she is also an essayist, critic and poet. She has won a number of literary awards, including the Sahitya Akademi award. She lives and writes in Calcutta.
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