Author: Mahasweta Devi
Translator(s): Ipsita Chanda
Publisher: Seagull Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170462061
Considered one of Mahasweta Devi's most important work, this novel written in 1981, appeared shortly after her seminal Chhotti Munda and His Arrows.
This work shows the lives of the underdogs - the Lachhimas, the Rukmanis, the Mohors and the Haroas - as a contrast to the lives of their all-powerful overlords - the Medinis and Ganeshes. Lachhima, whose unleashed bitterness and anger of a lifetime against Medini and Ganesh is liberated at the end of the novel when Ganesh begs her to save his life, decides to save him, but on her own terms.
The title of the work itself becomes a tool for subversion in this sprawling novel which take the reader through a multilayered narrative into the socio-economic malaise of post-independence rural India. Mahasweta Devi's corrosive humor and cryptic style are at their best as she takes on issues of agrarian land relations, inter-caste violence, so-called rural development and the position of women in rural India.