Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, Rabindranath Tagore was one of India's pioneering novelists, keen to experiment with form and bold in his choice of subjects. This collector's edition of Rabindranath Tagore's novels in English translation brings together the writer's best-known novels in two omnibus volumes. The first Volume features three novels - Chokher Bali, Ghare Baire and Yogayog - and two novellas: Chaturanga and Malancha.
Chokher Bali (A Grain of Sand) is a classic exposition of an extramarital affair that takes place within the confines of a joint family. Asha, the simple, demure wife of the rich, flamboyant Mahendra, befriends Binodini, a vivacious young widow who comes to live with them; but both Mahendra and Binodini betray Asha's trust and elope, leaving the marriage in ruins. Set against the backdrop of the Partition of Bengal by the British in 1905, Ghare Baire (Home and the World) is also the tale of a triangular relationship: between the liberal-minded zamindar Nikhilesh, his educated and sensitive wife Bimala, and Sandip, Nikhilesh's friend, a charismatic revolutionary who Bimala becomes attracted to. Chaturanga (Quartet) traces the philosophical and emotional developments between Sachish, a brilliant young atheist, his friend Sribilash, and Damini, a young widow sheltered by the guru Lilananda, who Sachish and Sribilash become devotees of. Set in the historical context of the decline of the landed aristocracy in Bengal and the emergence of the entrepreneur class, Yogayog (Nexus) is the tale of Kumudini, the daughter of a cultured family that has fallen on bad times, who is torn between her loyalities to Madhusudan, her crass and self-serving husband, and Bipradas, her artistic and compassionate brother. Finally, Malacha (The Garden) reveals the anguish of the sickly Neerja, who, confined to bed, suspects Sarala, her husband Aditya's childhood friend, of usurping her place both in Aditya's heart and in their beloved garden.
Written in Tagore's inimitable style and full of surprising turns of plot and unforgettable studies of the human psyche, each of these novels, available here in modern, lucid translations, will delight all lovers of classic fiction.
About the Author :
Born in 1861, Rabindranath Tagore was one of the key figure of the Bengal Renaissance. He started writing at an early age, and by the turn of the century had become a household name in Bengal. In 1913 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for his verse collection Gitanjali. At about the same time he founded Visva Bharati, a university located in Shantiniketan near Kolkata. Tagore steered clear of active politics, but is famous for returning the knighthood conferred on him as a gesture of protest against the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919.
Tagore was a pioneering literary figure, renowned for his ceaseless innovations in poetry, prose, drama, music and painting. His works include some sixty collections of verse, novels like Gora, Chokher Bali and Ghare Baire, plays like Raktakarabi and Dakghar, dance dramas like Shyama, Chandalika and Chitrangada, over a hundred short stories, essays on religious, social and literary topics, and over 2000 songs., including the national anthems of India and Bangladesh. He died in 1941.
The cover shows Face of a Woman, charcoal on paper by Rabindranath Tagore, courtesy Rabindra Bhavan, Visva Bharati, Shantiniketan.
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