The Moth-Eaten Howdah of the Tusker

The Moth-Eaten Howdah of the Tusker

Product ID: 14020

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Author: Indira Goswami
Publisher: Rupa
Year: 2004
Language: English
Pages: 362
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8129103362


At the dawn of independence in India, in a small sattra in South Kamrup in Assam, the Gossains, its religious and spiritual heads, grapple with a palpable threat to their traditional authority. The sattra soaks in opium fumes, taxes challenge their ownership of land, the emerging forces of communism strike at the debilitated roots of feudal power.

The author holds up a powerful picture of change and transition,of degeneration and decay, which finds suitable expression in the central metaphor. Interwoven with the main story is a poignant tale of the tragedy of widowhood-the plight of Brahmin widows encased in the satta and their responses to a fate worse than death, this is a novel remarkable as much for its depth of observation as its narrative power.


Indira Goswami is one of those rare souls who have been able to get an insight into the great power which is working behind the universe.
-Amrita Pritam

Blessed with brains and writer’s itch and a solid social background, Indira Goswami has come full circle to shine like a star in the literary and academic firmament of that great subcontinent of Bharathadesha.
-Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka


Its reading is an unforgettable experience. Whenever my mind wanders back to this somber, penumbral and borrid atmosphere, I feel overpowered by awe.
-Bhisham Sahni