Author: Mahasweta Devi
Translator(s): Pinaki Bhattacharya
Publisher: Seagull Books
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8170462584
The hero of our story, Dewana, appears it the very fist episode. What does dewana mean? Someone who’s mad.
The image of this love-crazed hero haunts Khoimala, the gentle Brahman girl, and her low-caste sweetheart, the young boatman, Golak, as they live out their doomed love story: doomed because social and religious taboos damn their forbidden love. On the one hand, eighteenth century rural Bengal, quickening to the pace of urban development, undergoes swift changes, as local markets thrive and traders flourish; on the other, a destitute young woman who is trapped in the darkness of harshly prescriptive custom to the despair of the boatman lad who can neither rescue her nor declare his love.
In this masterful and deeply sensitive tale, Mahasweta Devi once again interweaves a social tapestry and the detail of human lives, crating a powerful tale of love, longing and passion set in a time when the British are beginning to consolidate their hold on Bengal.