Blossoms with Graveyard is the story of Mehr, a young girl GR VEYARD from a village in what is at that time, East Pakistan. It is the story of her journey from dependence to self-reliance, both emotionally and physically. Parallel to her story, is the narrative of a land that is struggling to assert its identity, and moving towards a hard- won Independence in a crucible of blood and tears. Mehr is the symbol of the land. Her suffering, her distress, her tortured anguish, is an emblem of its agony, in particular of the women of the country, as it is being birthed.
Set at a crucial time in the history of the struggle, when the land is on the cusp of becoming Bangladesh, the novel is in the voice of Robin Babu. As an Assamese, he, like so many others living in this part of India that lay adjacent to the theatre of war, is deeply affected by horrors taking place at his very doorstep.
Jnanpith Awardee Birendra Kumar Bhattacharyya has told the story with a fine understanding of all the issues involved, in a non-partisan way. Though fiction, it deals with events and issues of recent history. Each of the characters is delineated with empathy, and a thorough understanding of what he or she stands for, without them being typecast in any way. The author's unswerving humanism imbues the whole work with a luminous compassion that is often very moving. The echoes from that time reverberate across the entire subcontinent even today, making this a work of contemporary significance.
DR BlRENDRA K MAR BHATTACHARYYA (1924-1997) is considered to be one of the foremost Assamese writers. Besides writing twenty novels, sixty short stories, more than a hundred poems, ten plays, numerous essays and articles, he also translated classics from Bangla and English into Assamese. His best- known works are the novels Yaruingam, for which he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi in 1961, and Mrityunjay, which won him the country's highest literary honour, the Jnanpith Award in 1979. He became the President of the Sahitya Akademi in 1988.
Dr Bhattacharyya's works are imbued with a deep humanism, and are peopled with believable and multi-dimensional characters. He explores the human condition with empathy, blaming none, in a language that is notable for its clarity. His works are often moving, and always shed light on very significant moments of social and political crisis.
MITRA PHUKAN is a writer, translator, columnist and classical vocalist who lives and works in Guwahati, Assam. Her published literary works include four children's books, a biography, two novels, The Collectors Wife and A Monsoon of Music, and a collection of fifty of her columns, Guwahati Gaze. She also writes extensively on music. Besides, her short stories have appeared in various journals worldwide. Her works have been translated into several Indian and European languages. As a translator, she has put across the works of some of the best- known contemporary writers of fiction in Asomiya into English. Her fortnightly column "All Things Considered" in The Assam Tribune is very widely read.
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