Author: Sarat Chandra Chatterjee
Publisher: Ravi Dayal
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8175300388
This major work in Bengali original Sesh Prashna is translated here into English for the first time. It reveals a new face of Sharatchandra to readers who know him only in translation. It also extends and challenges established notions of the political and social milieu of its own day and ours.
Breaking the bounds of Bengali fiction, Sharatchandra, in this major novel, challenges the norms of nationhood, society, and womanhood. The novel caused a sensation when it was first published in 1931, drawing censure from conservative critics but enthusiastic support from general readers, especially women.
The heroine, Kamal, is exceptional for her time. She lives and travels by herself, has relationships with various men, looks poverty and suffering in the face, and asserts the autonomy of her individual being. In the process, she tears apart the frame of the expatriate Bengali society of Agra, where she lives.
Kamal's life is set off against those of other women, and of the men who enter into relations with him. On another plane, it is placed against the evolving ideology of Indian nationalism. Through Kamal, Sharatchandra questions Indian tradition by canons of a radical modernity. But modernity too is probed and assessed, and many questions remain unanswered at the end of the novel.
This translation is the collective effort of several members of the Department of English, Jadhavpur University.. The first draft was prepared by Shirshendu Majumdar, Sipra Dasgupta, and Sunish Deb. This was then worked over by the editors.