'One of the greatest figures in Hindi literature . . . [Agyeya] played a vital role in popularizing the language'--The Hindu
On the night before he is to be hanged as a political prisoner, Shekhar finds himself drawn into a vortex of scattered memories--flashes of childhood angst and youthful love amidst days of high idealism and constant struggle against the British Raj. Enveloped by his past and wracked by a tumult of emotions, he muses on the philosophical questions that have consumed him and the ideological fervour that has led him to his inevitable fate. And as the appointed hour approaches, he must reconcile himself with who he has become and what he truly stands for.
Regarded as one of the most influential Hindi novels of all time, Shekhar powerfully reimagines the journey of an outspoken young underground revolutionary in pre-Independence India. This sparkling new translation brings to life the psychological acuity and literary richness of Agyeya's most profound work.
Agyeya(1911-87) was the pen name of S.H. Vatsyayan, regarded as one of the foremost figures of Hindi literature who was instrumental in pioneering modern trends inthe realm of poetry, fiction, criticism and journalism. As a young man, he joinedthe movement for India's independence alongside Bhagat Singh and ChandrashekharAzad, and was even arrested by the British authorities. His monumental novel Shekhar: Ek Jeevani, widely regarded ashis masterpiece, was drawn from his own experiences in prison and has been published in Penguin Classics as Shekhar: A Life. He has also won the Sahitya Akademi Award and the Jnanpith Award for his poetry. Prison Days and Other Poems, a collection of his verses, has also been published in Penguin Classics.
Snehal Shingavi (Translator)
Snehal Shingavi is associate professor of English at the University of Texas, Austin, where he specializes in teaching South Asian literatures in English, Hindi and Urdu. He is the author of The Mahatma Misunderstood, and has translated to wide acclaim the iconic short-story collection Angaaray as well as Bhisham Sahni's memoir Today's Pasts. Most recently, he has co-translated Agyeya's Shekhar: A Life with Vasudha Dalmia.
Vasudha Dalmia (Translator)
Vasudha Dalmia is Professor Emerita of Hindi and Modern South Asian Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. Her monograph, The Nationalization of Hindu Traditions: Bharatendu Harischandra and Nineteenth Century Banaras (1997), studies the life and writings of a major Hindi writer of the nineteenth century as the focal point for an examination of the intricate links between politics, language,culture, religion and nationality. She has edited and co-edited several works. Her book on the Hindi novel, Fiction as History:The Novel and the City in Modern North India, appeared in 2017.