Timeless Classic Books

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$10.00 USD - $1,000.00 USD

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Three Hundred Verses: Musings on Life, Love and Renunciation
Young doe-eyed maidens cast bewitching glances in the moonlight. Birds frolic, flowers bloom in a riotous kaleidoscope and the shifting seasons bear witness to the amorous games of lovers. And through this boisterous celebration of beauty and bounty, timeless wisdom is dispensed through brief, colourful vignettes. In Three Hundred Verses, Bhartrihari, one of the greatest Sanskrit poets of all time, brilliantly expounds on our most enduring concerns and dilemmas: living, loving and leaving. Although composed centuries ago, these poems amply display the full force of his genius. Bursting with lush imagery and brimming with deep philosophical musings, these verses covering a wide range of themes that resonate even today—from the sensuous stirrings of passionate love to poignant reflections on life’s inherent transience; from notions of wealth and wickedness to the nature of fate and fortitude. By turns playful and wise, A.N.D. Haksar’s gorgeous and accessible translation captures the verve, acuity and erotic charge of Bhartrihari’s most significant work.
Young doe-eyed maidens cast bewitching glances in the moonlight. Birds frolic, flowers bloom in a...
$24.00 USD
THE JATAKAS
When my concentrated mind was purified; I directed it to the knowledge of the recollection of past lives’ —The Buddha on the night of his enlightenment Associated with the living traditions of folk tale; drama and epic; the Jatakas recount the development of the Bodhisatta—the being destined to become the present Buddha in his final life—not just through the events of one lifetime but of hundreds. Written in Pali; the language of the Theravada Buddhist canon; the Jatakas comprise one of the largest and oldest collections of stories in the world dating from the fifth century BCE to the third century CE. Generations in South and South-East Asia have grown up with these tales. This volume contains twenty-six stories drawn from various ancient sources; and each story reflects one of the ten perfections—giving; restraint; renunciation; wisdom; strength; acceptance; truthfulness; resolve; loving kindness and equanimity. A detailed introduction elaborates on the ten perfections; explains the forms of enlightenment as well as the structure; and the historical and geographical contexts of the stories. Sarah Shaw brings to life the teachings of Buddhism for the scholar and lay reader alike.
When my concentrated mind was purified; I directed it to the knowledge of the recollection...
$21.49 USD
The ARTHASHASTRA
An extraordinary detailed manual on statecraft and the science of living by one of classical India's greatest minds; Kautilya; also known as Chanakya and Vishnugupta; wrote the Arthashastra not later than 150 AD though the date has not been conclusively established. Legend has it that he was either a Brahmin from Kerala or from north India; however; it is certain that Kautilya was the man who destroyed the Nanda dynasty and installed Chandragupta Maurya as the King of Magadha. A master strategist who was well-versed in the Vedas and adept at creating intrigues and devising political stratagems; Kautilya's genius is reflected in his Arthashastra which is the most comprehensive treatise of statecraft of classical times. The text contains fifteen books which cover numerous topics viz.; the King; a complete code of law; foreign policy; secret and occult practices and so on. The Arthashastra is written mainly in prose but also incorporates 380 shlokas. Artha; literally wealth; is one of four supreme aims prescribed by Hindu tradition. However; it has a much wider significance and the material well-being of individuals is just a part of it. In accordance with this; Kautilya's Arthashastra maintains that the state or government of a country has a vital role to play in maintaining the material status of both the nation and its people. Therefore; a significant part of the Arthashastra has to do with the science of economics. When it deals with the science of politics; the Arthashastra describes in detail the art of government in its widest sense—the maintenance of law and order as also of an efficient administrative machinery.
An extraordinary detailed manual on statecraft and the science of living by one of classical...
$32.00 USD
Abhijnanashakuntalam
Kalidasa’s most famous play refashions an episode from the Mahabharata, magnificently dramatizing the love story of Shakuntala, a girl of semi-divine origin, and Dushyanta, a noble human king. After their brief and passionate but secret union at her father’s forest ashram, Dushyanta must return to his capital. He gives Shakuntala his signet ring, promising to make her his queen when she joins him later. But, placed unawares under a curse, he forgets her—and she loses the ring that would have enabled him to recognize her. Will the lovers be reunited? The world’s first full-length play centred on a comprehensive love story, The Recognition of Shakuntala is an undisputed classic of the ancient period. Vinay Dharwadker’s sparkling new translation is the definitive poetic rendering of this romantic-heroic comedy for the twenty-first century stage. His absorbing commentary and notes give contemporary readers an unparalleled opportunity to savour the riches of a timeless text.
Kalidasa’s most famous play refashions an episode from the Mahabharata, magnificently dramatizing the love story...
$21.00 USD
Three Women
Three Women (Nashtaneer, Malancha, Dui Bon) is by Rabindranath Tagore. Nashtaneer (The Broken Nest), Malancha (The Arbour), and Dui Bon (The Two Sisters) are considered to be some of Tagore’s finest prose works. Subtle, full of psychological nuance, and lyricism, this is vintage Tagore.
Three Women (Nashtaneer, Malancha, Dui Bon) is by Rabindranath Tagore. Nashtaneer (The Broken Nest), Malancha...
$18.00 USD
The Courtesan’s Keeper
This feast of smiles was put together giving the secret strategies and all the tricks of courtesans One of Kshemendra’s finest satires, The Courtesan’s Keeper is a delightful and rambunctious rendition of the life and times of the courtesan Kankali as she teaches the ways of the world to her ward Kalavati. From the attractive courtesan and her shrewd keeper to the experienced barber and the avaricious trader, the book brings to life the vibrant society of Kashmir Valley a thousand years ago through a host of characters, each drawn in vivid detail. With its terse narrative, directness and economy of style, and fast-paced action, the book is fully suited for the twenty-first-century reader.
This feast of smiles was put together giving the secret strategies and all the tricks...
$15.00 USD
Two Measures of Bhakti
Late medieval poems from Kerala that still resonate in every Malayali’s heart touchstones of faith in Kerala. Puntanam’s Jnana-paana may claim to be the first original modern poem in Malayalam; simple and innocent, it still speaks directly to the reader. Melpattur’s Narayaniyam is ‘the last great hurrah of classical Sanskrit’ in India; the poem excerpted here, majestic in its humility, describes a vision of the Lord. With his elegant verse translations, Vijay Nambisan brings these poems to a new audience. Also translated is a poem by Mahakavi Vallathol which relates the story of Melpattur and Puntanam’s meeting and how the Sanskritist scorned the vernacular poet. In his incisive ‘Translator’s Apology’, Nambisan explores the dynamics of Malayali culture; places its literature in context; studies matters of prosody; and questions the attitude of an elitist language to a regional one.
Late medieval poems from Kerala that still resonate in every Malayali’s heart touchstones of faith...
$19.00 USD
Tilism-e-Hoshruba
Tilism-e-Hoshruba is an epic narrative of the adventures of the legendary Persian hero Emir Hamza—the protagonist of Hamza Nama—his sons and grandsons. The epic opens with the commander-in-chief of the Islamic army, Hamza, pursuing Laqa, who makes false claims to divinity. Laqa takes refuge in Kohistan, adjacent to the enchanted land of Hoshruba, ruled by the formidable King of Sahirs, Afrasiyab Jadoo. Afrasiyab reveres Laqa and deputes his sahirs or wizards to help him fight Hamza. Hamza’s grandson Asad then sets out to conquer Hoshruba, assisted by the clever trickster Amar, who possesses divine artefacts such as a cloak of invisibility and a magic pouch containing parallel worlds. Aided by powerful allies and beset at every step by magical snares, dangerous enchantments and seductive sorceresses, the Islamic army finally conquers Hoshruba. Tilism-e-Hoshruba has enthralled generations of readers with its chivalrous heroes, breathtakingly beautiful princesses, powerful sahirs, sahiras and demons. This brilliant condensed translation by Shahnaz Aijazuddin sensitively reinterprets the highly Persianized Urdu of the original text into this eminently readable book that retains the essence of the original.
Tilism-e-Hoshruba is an epic narrative of the adventures of the legendary Persian hero Emir Hamza—the...
$32.90 USD
The Seduction of Shiva
The god Shiva is utterly seduced by Mohini, the enchanting female form assumed by the god Vishnu during the churning of the ocean for nectar. A barber employs wit and wile and rumours of witchcraft to win his wife back from the lustful attentions of their king. The celestial nymph Urvashi curses the Pandava prince Arjuna when he rejects her sexual advances. A woman caught in adultery befools her elders with a religious ritual. A man with a disagreeable missing wife insists nevertheless that she be recovered by his ruler who has a similar problem. Refined, colloquial, romantic, cynical, satirical by turns, these stories of erotic love, elegantly translated from the Sanskrit classics, make a sustained argument for the secular ends of life of desire tempered with discrimination and pleasure with restraint.
The god Shiva is utterly seduced by Mohini, the enchanting female form assumed by the...
$19.00 USD
The Captured Gazelle
Every moment it seeks to slip from the mind’s nook Fresh poetic meaning is a gazelle to be captured The Captured Gazelle is an elegant and lucent translation of the poems of the seventeenth-century Persian poet Mulla Tahir Ghani, better known as Ghani Kashmiri. Eulogized by poets such as Mir and Iqbal, Ghani is an outstanding representative of sabk-e-Hindi or the ‘Indian style’ in Persian poetry, which became a hallmark of the Mughal–Safavid literary culture. The introduction situates Ghani against his unique background in which Iranian and Indian poetic cultures came together to create a glorious literary age in Kashmir, while the translations capture Ghani in his wide spectrum of moods—satirical, playful, self-pitying, pessimistic, mystically resigned—bringing alive his wit and ingenuity in a modern idiom without losing hold on the tone.
Every moment it seeks to slip from the mind’s nook Fresh poetic meaning is a...
$22.00 USD
Tales of The Ten Princes
Dandin's work as a novelist, poet and pioneering theorist of literary style has secured for him an important place in classical Sanskrit literature. He lived in Kanchi, near present-day Chennai, in the period c. AD 650?750, during the Pallava rule. The Dasa Kumara Charitam is a prose romance recounting the exploits of Prince Rajavahana and his nine companions. Its colourful tales of adventure are notable for their ironic humour, amoral outlook and uninhibited descriptions of contemporary life and manners. A remarkable feature of the stories is the geographical sweep of their action, ranging from present-day Punjab to Kerala, Gujarat to Assam and all the way to the islands of the Indian Ocean. Also remarkable is the rich variety of characters and situations. Dandin vivifies each personage, major and minor, and provides lively accounts of assassinations, executions, dance festivals and royal assemblies, describes at length the training of a courtesan, and even the tools for burgling a house. Even though Tales of the Ten Princes can be enjoyed for its absorbing stories alone, it is also a wonderfully detailed sociological account of an important age in ancient India.
Dandin's work as a novelist, poet and pioneering theorist of literary style has secured for...
$24.00 USD
Tales from the Kathasaritasagara
The vast ocean of stories that influenced storytelling the world over 'The Kathasaritasagara' is said to have been compiled by a Kashmiri Saivite Brahmin called Somadeva in AD 1070, although the date has not been conclusively established. Legend has it that Somadeva composed the Kathasaritasagara for Queen Suryavati, wife of King Anantadeva who ruled Kashmir in the eleventh century. The stories in this book are retold from ten of the eighteen books of the original Kathasaritasagara. The most remarkable feature of the Kathasaritasagara is that unlike other texts of the time, it offers no moral conclusions, no principles to live by and is throughout a celebration of earthly life. The tale of Naravahanadatta, the prince of the vidyadharas, the sky-dwellers with magical powers, comprises the main narrative and is used as an outer frame to introduce the stories in the text. Promiscuous married women and clever courtesans, imbecile Brahmins, incompetent kings and wise ministers, wicked mendicants and holy ascetics, cursed men and men who are granted boons, evil non-human creatures and friendly magical beings, all jostle for attention in Arshia Sattar’s masterful translation of this timeless collection of tales.
The vast ocean of stories that influenced storytelling the world over 'The Kathasaritasagara' is said...
$20.00 USD
Subhashitavali
The subhashita verse is a popular feature of Sanskrit literature. Composed in isolation or as part of a larger work, it is essentially a miniature poem which encapsulates a complete thought, mood or image in a single stanza. These verse epigrams have a wide range of themes. This selection from the Subhashitavali, a celebrated verse anthology compiled by Vallabhadeva in c. fifteenth-century Kashmir, offers a rich variety of erotic poetry and a wealth of lyrical and gnomic verse. One section is given to earthy humour and cynical satire seldom available in English renditions. Also included are invocations and allegories, panegyrics and pen-pictures, sage observations and stark musings. The sweep of these verses is matched by the eclectic array of contributors from illustrious poets like Vyasa and Valmiki, Kalidasa and Bana to others now mostly forgotten. These verses of jollity and wit, ribaldry and bawdiness, snide sarcasm and wry comment showcase the fact that Sanskrit literature, generally perceived as staid and serious, can also be flippant and fun.
The subhashita verse is a popular feature of Sanskrit literature. Composed in isolation or as...
$14.49 USD
Red Lilies and Frightened Birds
Red Lilies and Frightened Birds is a collection of poems in praise of the three ancient Tamil royal dynasties—Cheras; Cholas and Pandyas. Translated from the early medieval Tamil classic Muttollayiram; these beautifully crafted verses retain a surprisingly contemporary tone—a testament to their enduring appeal over the centuries. While some of them are odes to the splendour of the king’s country and city; his prowess in war; and the ruining of the enemy country; others reveal how young women; deeply infatuated with the king; pine and long for him. M.L. Thangappa’s translation brilliantly brings to life the playful inventiveness and heady imagery of the original verses. This edition also includes an illuminating introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy which places this classic in its historical and cultural context.
Red Lilies and Frightened Birds is a collection of poems in praise of the three...
$19.00 USD
Love Stands Alone
The breathtaking poems in Love Stands Alone speak to us across time, space, language and culture. The interior, akam, and the exterior, puram, form their two overarching themes. The akam poems are concerned with love in all its varied situations: clandestine and illicit; conjugal happiness and infidelity; separation and union. The puram poems encompass all other aspects of worldly life: wars and battlefields, the munificence of kings and chieftains, and the wisdom of bards. With a comprehensive introduction by A.R. Venkatachalapathy, M.L. Thangappa’s translations delight the senses and bring alive a world long past.
The breathtaking poems in Love Stands Alone speak to us across time, space, language and...
$18.00 USD
Kumarasambhavam
Kumarasambhavam celebrates the love story of Siva and Parvati, whose passionate union results in the birth of their son, the young god Kumara. Beginning with a luminous description of the birth of Parvati, the poem proceeds in perfectly pitched sensuous detail through her courtship with Siva until the night of their wedding. It plays out their tale on the immense scale of supreme divinity, wherein the gods are viewed both as lovers and as cosmic principles. Composed in eight scintillating cantos, Kumarasambhavam continues to enchant readers centuries after it was first written. Hank Heifetz's sparkling translation brings to life the heady eroticism and sumptuous imagery of the original.
Kumarasambhavam celebrates the love story of Siva and Parvati, whose passionate union results in the...
$20.00 USD
Kamba Ramayana
A masterly translation of the Tamil version of Ramayana The epic story of Rama, which is part of the Indian collective consciousness, has been retold in many regional languages. Pre-eminent among the many vernacular retellings of the Ramayana is the twelfth-century Tamil version by Kamban. The son of a temple drummer, Kamban is reputed to have had an impressive mastery of Tamil and Sanskrit classics. Fascinated by the lore of Ramayana, he immersed himself totally in it. Though Kamban acknowledges his indebtedness to the Sanskrit version of the Ramayana by Valmiki, his is an independent work, enriched by various religious, philosophical and literary influences. The Kamba Ramayana differs from Valmiki’s in significant ways. Though cast in the heroic mould of a Purushotama or ‘the best among men’, Valmiki’s Rama is still a man. Kamban, on the other hand, never allows the reader to forget the godhood of Rama. His Ravana too, though flawed, is a heroic figure. While Valmiki’s diction is sparse and direct, Kamban’s exuberant prose sparkles with wit and inventiveness. Translated into English by the late P.S. Sundaram, this edition has been abridged and edited by his long-time friend N.S. Jagannathan. Though pared down from the original six volumes to a single one, this translation retains the magic and poetry of the original.
A masterly translation of the Tamil version of Ramayana The epic story of Rama, which...
$21.00 USD
It’s a City-showman’s Show!
The monsoon night passes like a knife— again and again the heart is cut away The seventeenth-century ascetic Anandghan (Cloud of Bliss) is one of the outstanding poets of Jain vernacular literature. His transcendental songs have been popular for over three centuries and remain part of the Jain devotional canon even today. Anandghan’s songs—which even inspired Mahatma Gandhi—are not restricted to Jain themes alone but illuminate how religious differences are superficial in comparison with the inner experience of the Self. The poet’s use of striking and fresh imagery vividly conjures the world of seventeenth-century India even as he persuades listeners to grasp the transcendental dimensions of their lives within the everyday struggles of material existence. This rigorous new translation mirrors the raw immediacy of Anandghan’s songs and highlights their universal appeal.
The monsoon night passes like a knife— again and again the heart is cut away...
$18.00 USD
In the Bazaar of Love
Amir Khusrau, one of the greatest poets of medieval India, helped forge a distinctive synthesis of Muslim and Hindu cultures. Written in Persian and Hindavi, his poems and ghazals were appreciated across a cosmopolitan Persianate world that stretched from Turkey to Bengal. Having thrived for centuries, Khusrau’s poetry continues to be read and recited to this day. In the Bazaar of Love is the first comprehensive selection of Khusrau’s work, offering new translations of mystical and romantic poems and fresh renditions of old favourites. Covering a wide range of genres and forms, it evokes the magic of one of the best-loved poets of the Indian subcontinent.
Amir Khusrau, one of the greatest poets of medieval India, helped forge a distinctive synthesis...
$18.00 USD
I, Lalla
The poems of the fourteenth-century Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded, popularly known as Lalla, strike us like brief and blinding bursts of light. Emotionally rich yet philosophically precise, sumptuously enigmatic yet crisply structured, these poems are as sensuously evocative as they are charged with an ecstatic devotion. Stripping away a century of Victorian-inflected translations and paraphrases, and restoring the jagged, colloquial power of Lalla’s voice, in Ranjit Hoskote’s new translation these poems are glorious manifestos of illumination.
The poems of the fourteenth-century Kashmiri mystic Lal Ded, popularly known as Lalla, strike us...
$22.00 USD
I Keep Vigil of Rudra
One of the only collections of Vachana poetry in translation—a must read for all poetry lovers. Here I come, a ferryman without a body To the great flowing river. If you pay the price– Your mind That grasps and lets go, I shall take you across” Vachana poetry in Kannada literature attained its zenith in the twelfth century. Passionate, intensely personal, and ahead of their times, these free-verse poems speak eloquently of the futility of formal learning, the vanity of wealth and the evils of social divisions. The vachanas stress on the worship of Shiva, through love, labour and devotion, as the only worthwhile life-goal for the vachanakara—the vachana poet. This collection offers a selection of vachanas composed by a wide range of vachanakaras from different walks of life writing during that period. While some of these poets are well known even today, most have been forgotten. Translated fluidly and with great skill by H.S. Shivaprakash, I Keep Vigil of Rudra is not only an important addition to Vachana literature, but also a must read for lovers of poetry everywhere.
One of the only collections of Vachana poetry in translation—a must read for all poetry...
$19.00 USD
Hymns for the Drowning
The poems in this book are some of the earliest about Visnu, one of the Hindu Trinity, also known as Tirumal, the Dark One. Tradition recognizes twelve alvars, saint-poets devoted to Visnu, who lived between the sixth and ninth century in the Tamil-speaking region of south India. These devotees of Visnu and their counterparts, the devotees of Siva (nayanmar), changed and revitalized Hinduism and their devotional hymns addressed to Visnu are among the earliest bhakti (devotional) texts in any Indian language. In this selection from Nammalvar's works, the translations like the originals reflect the alternations of philosophic hymns and love poems, through recurring voices, roles and places. They also enact a progression"from wonder at the Lord's works, to the experience of loving him and watching others love him, to moods of questioning and despair and finally to the experience of being devoured and possessed by him.
The poems in this book are some of the earliest about Visnu, one of the...
$17.90 USD
Banarasidas ARDHAKATHANAK (A Half Story)
Poet; philosopher and merchant; Banarasidas had no precedent in literature or tradition that might have inspired him to write his life’s story or guided him in his task. His motivation to write his story was simple: ‘Let me tell my story to all.’ Completed in the winter of 1641; in Agra; Ardhakathanak is the first autobiography in an Indian language. Banarsidas charms us with his transparency and frankness; revealing as much of himself as possible. And he punctuates the fast-flowing narrative of his life every now and then to muse on the nature of human existence. The result is an astonishing account that is more modern than medieval in tone; and free of formulaic conventions and stylized ornamentation. At the end of his ‘half story’; Banarasi becomes as intimate to us as an old friend. We know the ups and downs of his life almost as well as we know our own and we come to identify with his intellectual and spiritual struggles; and perhaps even share them.
Poet; philosopher and merchant; Banarasidas had no precedent in literature or tradition that might have...
$22.00 USD
Appeasement of Radhika
An erotic classic and the most recognized work of an celebrated nineteenth-century poet and courtesan 'Last night, I dreamt of Hari With that melodious-voiced woman. He seemed impatient with me, And now even The song of the nightingale seems shrill.' An erotic narrative poem that explores desire and jealousy, love experienced and love lost, Radhika Santawanam is the most recognized work of nineteenth-century poet and courtesan Muddupalani. Celebrated as a literary masterpiece in Muddupalani's lifetime, Radhika Santawanam was banned by the British in 1910 when it was published again, a century and a half later, with critics panning its graphic descriptions of lovemaking. And, after another hundred years, this epic is now available in its entirety for the first time in English translation.
An erotic classic and the most recognized work of an celebrated nineteenth-century poet and courtesan...
$16.00 USD
A Hundred Measures of Time
Look, my feet measure beyond earth and sky!’ he said and touched the sky. I have surrendered to my lord who glanced at me with his large radiant eyes. The Tiruviruttam is an iconic poem by Nammāḻvār (c. ninth century CE), the greatest of the āḻvār poet-saints of the Tamil Śrīvaiṣṇava tradition. Its hundred interlinked verses celebrate the love between an anonymous heroine and hero, who come to be identified with Nammāḻvār and his beloved deity, Viṣṇu. The poet masterfully weaves the erotic and esoteric to reveal both the contours of love and the never-ending cycles of separation and union, of birth and death, from which only Viṣṇu can offer release. In A Hundred Measures of Time, Archana Venkatesan has crafted a sonorous free-verse rendering and an accompanying far-ranging essay to delight poetry lovers and scholars alike.
Look, my feet measure beyond earth and sky!’ he said and touched the sky. I...
$20.00 USD
Simhasana Dvatrimsika
Classic tales of courage and compassion The fabled monarch Vikramaditya is considered a model of kingly virtues, and his reign a golden age. These famous stories narrated by the thirty-two statuettes of nymphs supporting the magic throne of Vikramaditya extol his courage, compassion and extraordinary magnanimity. They are set in a framework recounting the myths of his birth, accession, adventures and death in battle, after which the throne remained concealed till its discovery in a later age. A fascinating mix of marvellous happenings, proverbial wisdom and sage precepts, these popular tales are designed to entertain as well as instruct. Many have passed into folk literature. The original author of the Simhasana Dvatrimsika is unknown. The present text is dated to the thirteenth century AD. It exists in four main recensions, from which extracts have been compiled together for the first time, in this lively and faithful translation of this celebrated classic by a renowned Sanskritist
Classic tales of courage and compassion The fabled monarch Vikramaditya is considered a model of...
$19.00 USD
Srikanta
Srikanta, the narrator of Saratchandra's epic novel, is an aimless drifter, a passive spectator to his own life, a weak and impressionable soul who cannot survive without the support of an individual stronger than himself. As a child he idealizes the chaste and selfless Annada Didi. Arriving in Burma as a young man looking for new experiences, Srikanta meets the rebellious Abhaya who rejects her violent, bigamous husband to live openly with her lover. Srikanta then experiments with becoming a sanyasi, is bewitched for a while by the Vaishnavi, Kamal Lata, and wanders on till his directionless existence finally finds a focus- when he resigns himself to life with the notorious but stunning Pyari Baiji, breaking free of the social values he grew up with. Through his dynamic and arresting characters, Saratchandra brings alive nineteenth-century Bengal, rife with prejudices and ready for change.
Srikanta, the narrator of Saratchandra's epic novel, is an aimless drifter, a passive spectator to...
$26.00 USD
Saratchandra Omnibus Volume 1
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Indian novelists of the twentieth century. His novels, serialized in periodicals and subsequently published in book form, earned Saratchandra immense fame in the early decades of the century, and established him as Bengal's master storyteller. Even today, seven decades after his death, Saratchandra remains one of the most popular novelists in Bengal, and is widely read in translation across India as well. This collector's edition of Saratchandra's works in English translation brings together the writer's most renowned and best-loved novels in two omnibus volumes. The first volume features five novels: Srikanta, Devdas, Parineeta, Palli Samaj and Nishkriti. Srikanta is the story of a wanderer who observes the people around him; through them— especially the women he loves and respects, from the sacrificing Annada Didi and the rebellious Abhaya to the housewife Rajlakshmi and the courtesan Pyari Bai— he tries to arrive at an understanding of life. Devdas, on the other hand, is the tragic tale of a man who drives himself to drink and debilitation when he is unable to marry his childhood sweetheart Paro. In Parineeta (Espoused), the orphaned Lalita is secretly in love with her guardian Shekhar, but circumstances conspire to drive the two apart. Palli Samaj (The Village Life) has Ramesh, an engineer, returning to the village of his birth to try and rid it of the backwardness that plagues it, even as he tries to revive his childhood ties with Rama, now a widow. In Nishkriti (Deliverance), the strong-willed Shailaja, the youngest daughter-in-law in a joint family, is made an outcast as a result of a misunderstanding; much later, her elders realize their mistake, just in time to save the family from disintegration. Each of the novels showcases the qualities Saratchandra is famous for: everyday stories told in a simple yet gripping style, strong characters, meticulous plotting, true-to-life dialogue, and unforgettable depictions of life in turn-of-the-century Bengal. Translated especially for Penguin, these classic novels will delight those new to Saratchandra's works as well as those who want to return to them again.
Saratchandra Chattopadhyay is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest Indian novelists of the twentieth...
$33.00 USD
Hats and Doctors
Hats and Doctors offers English readers the opportunity to savour, for the first time, the work of Upendranath Ashk, one of Hindi literature’s best-known authors. The stories in this collection often display a wry sense of humour, such as ‘The Dal Eaters’ in which a family of cheapskates journeys to Kashmir. While Ashk’s satirical eye is employed to great effect in ‘The Cartoon Hero’, where a hapless traveller encounters a petty politician on a train, his talent for capturing human frailties is amply evident in ‘Furlough’ and ‘In the Insane Asylum’. Exhibiting a lightness of touch and a deep engagement with the human condition, these stories come alive in Daisy Rockwell’s delightful translation.
Hats and Doctors offers English readers the opportunity to savour, for the first time, the...
$17.49 USD
Waves
A superb collection of stories from a modern Indian master! One of the most versatile and innovative among contemporary Tamil writers, Sundara Ramaswamy’s wrote short stories in two phases : between 1951 and 1966, and then, after a long gap, in the 1970s. his early stories, focusing on ordinary people leading ordinary lives and are full of gems by way of characterization: the policeman and the priest of the Nadi Krishna temple in ‘Prasadam’, and Varadan and Joswin in ‘True Love’ remain unforgettable, in spite of their pedestrian lives. In the later stories—‘Intoxication’(1973), ‘Waves’(1976)—clouded by the aftermath of the Bangladesh war and the Emergency, the plots turn darker and more complex. Surprising us with their odd twists and turns, raising uncomfortable questions, and yet touched by a fine sense of humour and humanity, the stories in this collection belong with the best in the genre.
A superb collection of stories from a modern Indian master! One of the most versatile...
$17.00 USD
The Final Question
Like Dickens, Saratchandra had a bag of wonderful tales'— The Hindu The Final Question (Shesh Prashna) is one of Saratchandra Chattopadhyay's last novels and perhaps his most radically innovative. 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 the individual being. In the process, she tears apart the frame of the expatriate Bengali society of Agra, where she lives. Through Kamal, Saratchandra questions Indian tradition and the norms of nationhood and womanhood. The Final Question transcends time and will appeal to readers of all ages. Translated by Department of English, Jadavpur University.
Like Dickens, Saratchandra had a bag of wonderful tales'— The Hindu The Final Question (Shesh...
$20.79 USD
Middle India
Middle India, in this collection of seventeen short stories, Bhisham Sahni examines middle India the lower middle class not rich or famous or educated in convent schools, not cosmopolitan but urban or semi-urban. In these tightly told tales, he explores with precision of thought and expression the humanity of individuals and their places in society.The collection includes some of Sahni’s best known stories: ‘Dinner for the Boss’, a tragi-comic tale of a man trying to please his employer and a mother’s attempt to please her son; ‘Paali’, the drama of a young boy shared between a Muslim and a Hindu family during Partition; and ‘Sparrow’, a story of love and loss in a marriage. Among the other stories in this anthology are popular favourites like ‘Veero’, ‘The Witch’, ‘Before Dying’, ‘Radha-Anuradha’ and ‘Salma Aapa’.
Middle India, in this collection of seventeen short stories, Bhisham Sahni examines middle India the...
$20.00 USD
Indigo
Spine-tingling tales from the other side of midnight. Indigo is the mood in this new collection of stories about the supernatural, the peculiar and the inexplicable from Satyajit Ray, one of the best-loved writers of our times. There are tales here of dark horror, fantasy and adventure along with heart-warmingly funny stories about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. In 'Big Bill' Tulsi Babu picks up a newly-hatched chick from a forest and brings it home only to find it growing bigger and fiercer by the day; in 'Khagam' a man kills a sadhu's deadly pet snake and invites a curse which brings about horrifying changes in his body; and in the title story, a young executive resting in an old abandoned bungalow for a night, finds himself caught up in a chilling sequence of events which occurred more than a century ago. Also included here is 'The Magical Mystery', a brand new Feluda story discovered amongst Ray's papers after his death, and several tales featuring Uncle Tarini, the master storyteller who appears in translation for the first time. From Mr. Shasmal, who is visited one night by all the creatures he has ever killed, to Ashamanja Babu, who does not know what to do when his pet dog suddenly begins to laugh, the unforgettable characters in these stories surprise, shock and entertain us in equal measure. Indigo is a veritable treasure trove especially for those who like a taste of the unusual in a short story and an unexpected twist at the end. Translated from the Bengali by the author and Gopa Majumdar.
Spine-tingling tales from the other side of midnight. Indigo is the mood in this new...
$19.00 USD
Farewell Song
Rabindranath Tagore reinvented the Bengali novel with Farewell Song; blurring the lines between prose and poetry and creating an effervescent blend of romance and satire. Through Amit and Labanya and a brilliantly etched social milieu; the novel addresses contemporary debates about ‘good’ and ‘bad’ writing; the nature of love and conjugality; and the influence of Western culture on Bengali society. Set against the idyllic backdrop of Shillong and the mannered world of elite Calcutta society; this sparkling novel expresses the complex vision and the mastery of style that characterized Tagore’s later works.
Rabindranath Tagore reinvented the Bengali novel with Farewell Song; blurring the lines between prose and...
$17.00 USD
Falling Walls
A young man from Jalandhar longs to become a writer but fails at every turn. Upendranath Ashk's 1947 novel explores in great detail the trials and tribulations of Chetan. From the back galis of Lahore and Jalandhar to Shimla's Scandal Point, Falling Walls offers a rich and intimate portrait of lower-middle-class life in the 1930s and the hurdles an aspiring writer must overcome to fulfill his ambitions.
A young man from Jalandhar longs to become a writer but fails at every turn....
$29.00 USD
Doll’s Wedding and Other Stories
The stories in Dolls’ Wedding, by the finest short-story writer in modern Telugu, are nuanced, hard-hitting and marked by the total absence of sentimentality. A tightly constructed plot relies on a minimalist portrayal of characters—among them beggars, peasants, widows, children and the upwardly mobile middle class—whose pragmatism drives them to break convention and fight for their survival. The aged auditor’s young wife in ‘Got to Go to Eluru’ seduces an adolescent boy in order to produce a son who will protect her status when she is widowed; in ‘Firewood’, a peasant girl overcomes fear and speaks out when she is falsely accused of theft. A realist devoid of ideologies, Chaso was deeply interested in the actual life and the inner world of people around him. These luminous translations bring Chaso to a new audience.
The stories in Dolls’ Wedding, by the finest short-story writer in modern Telugu, are nuanced,...
$22.00 USD
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