Magic Web and Other Stories

£14.95

Ashapurna Debi

 

Paperback 9788125047087

 

Ashapurna Debi (1909-1995) is known for her incisive chronicles of the Bengali middle-class. With women as her chosen subjects, her stories voice suppressed histories of intimate lives, and probe into the familial and social dynamics of relationships analysing the play of gender, caste and class.

Description

 

The Magic Web and Other Stories is a collection of eighteen of Ashapurna Debi’s short stories on the lives of widows. One of the most prolific creative writers in Indian literature, Ashapurna Debi (1909-1995) is known for her incisive chronicles of the Bengali middle-class. With women as her chosen subjects, her stories voice suppressed histories of intimate lives, and probe into the familial and social dynamics of relationships analysing the play of gender, caste and class.

Through these stories, we are introduced to ritual-oriented drudges and gossip-mongering women, and to unbecoming women who refuse to hear the voice of everyday morality and silence the promptings of received values. One finds in the stories the rational, sensible, modern, urban gentleman all but merely the camouflaged victims of patriarchy. There are also tales where traces of deeply entrenched desires, expressed through gestures and silences, signify the buried yet pulsating emotions in the lives of women.

Between conscience and custom, reason and prejudice, oppression and agency, these narratives show a rare sensitiveness to the deprivations and vulnerabilities, the triumphs and rebellion, the noise amidst the silences of the widow and her world.

Jharna Sanyal masterfully retains this sensitiveness in a translation that is both confident and compassionate. To those wishing to savour the richness of Ashapurana Debi’s writings, this is a gift!

Additional information

By

Ashapurna Debi Translated from the Bengali by Jharna Sanyal

Published by

Orient BlackSwan

ISBN

9788125047087

Format

Paperback