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Author Name: Translated by Swapan Goswami | Format: Paperback | Genre : Literature & Fiction | Other Details

This book was the first in series of books written by Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya and published in 1913. Surendra, despite being born in a rich family, runs away from home to Kolkata. Loss of identity in a strange unknown place and severe financial crunch leads him to beg for survival. He finally seeks shelter as a teacher in a zamindar’s house, where the zamindar’s daughter is a young widow. It was an era when society looked down upon widows and exploited and mistreated them. They had to live a life of an ascetic, bereft of normal wants or pleasures. An unspoken emotional bond develops between the widow ‘Borodidi’ and Surendra. These emotions, innocence, and love transcend all physical barriers and is palpable in the author’s writings, even after a hundred years have lapsed.

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Translated by Swapan Goswami

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya was born on 15th September, 1876, in Hooghly district of West Bengal. He was a contemporary of Rabindranath Tagore, and wrote many Bengali novels which left a deep impact on the common people of Bengal. He had to leave school for a short while due to financial problems and also could not complete his graduation for the same reason.

During his free time away from school and college, he started writing stories. He even became a sanyasi and wandered from village to village, frustrated with life over poverty. He eventually got a job in Burma and worked there from 1903 to 1916.

After returning to India, he published his works and received recognition from the Universities of Dhaka and Calcutta. His stories about the life and hardships of women and the common man struck a chord with a lot of people. Later on, many stories were made into popular films.

Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyaya succumbed to liver cancer on 16th January, 1938.