Two novels, one short story collection. Different themes. With one joining thread, West Bengal, the State which is the setting for all three works. While Amit Dasgupta’s The House and Other Stories and Arnab Nandy’s On the Road to Tarascon are set in Kolkata, a familiar locale in many stories and novels, Indra Bahadur Rai’s novel, (translated by Manjushree Thapa) There’s a Carnival Today, considered a classic of Nepali literature, is set in Darjeeling, with its mystical mountains and tea gardens. In all these works, the protagonists are in search of an identity, a new life, and the cityscape plays a crucial role in this journey that they undertake.
The first collection consists of three short stories, with Kolkata at the centre. In fact, Dasgupta tells us that ‘as all Bengalis will tell you, even when the city stands quietly in the corner, not saying aword, her presence may be deeply felt by those close to her’, and that ‘Calcutta is a city where it is difficult to keep secrets’.
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