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The Mark

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“This collection of seven short stories examines day-to-day living, leading to existential questions which we want to ask but dare not raise. The nuances are to be found in the details. The stories tell themselves in these experimental narratives.”— The Hindu Literary Review

“These stories are revelations in themselves. Real revelations! They mirror the middle and lower middle class Bengali populace. I’m impressed by their authenticity.”— Kiriti Sengupta

Shambhabi Imprint is all set to launch The Mark, a collection of seven short stories by Bitan Chakraborty and translated from their original Bengali by Utpal Chakraborty. The collection enables readers to identify the often ignored signs of the day-to-day living. It also allows them to revisit memories, resulting in revival of a few existential queries, buried in our hearts for years. Editor and poet Dustin Pickering comments in his foreword: “Bitan Chakraborty is in defiance of the postmodern tropes that rule conventional storytelling in contemporary fiction. The brilliance of his storytelling is he does not defy deconstruction, but rather elaborates on it thematically. The story begins and ends on the same note, with the same trouble. Yet the full picture does not emerge until we endure the story with the characters. We become participants or observers of the action as we pick through its details. Chakraborty is not reacting against postmodern philosophy—instead, he is revealing a visionary approach to solving the impasse of the narrator by letting the story tell itself as well as inviting the reader’s surprise.”

Pickering rightly points out: “Chakraborty’s stories also have their uniquely crafted style. They create microcosms within microcosms—as if each twist runs parallel to the opening—like planets revolving around the sun by the law of gravity.”

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Additional information

Dimensions 8 × 5 × 0.5 in
Author

Translator

Utpal Chakraborty

Binding

Edition

ISBN

Language

Page Count

Publisher

Shambhabi – The Third Eye Imprint

Release Date

15 January, 2020

About Author

Bitan Chakraborty is best known as the founder of Hawakal Publishers. He is also an acclaimed story writer, translator, and editor of the Bengali print journal, Atibhuj. Heading one of the foremost independent presses in India, Chakraborty has finally been bestowed the title as one of “the flag-bearers of verse” in Indian subcontinent. As a proficient raconteur, Chakraborty has made a lasting impact with his collection of Bengali short fiction, Santiram-er Cha, which was later translated into English under the title, Bougainvillea and Other Short Stories. Having authored six collections of prose and poetry, Bitan Chakraborty emerges as an extremely talented littérateur of the present day.

About Translator

A teacher of English literature, translator, author of academic interest and bilingual poet Utpal Chakraborty is a regular contributor to leading Bengali and English magazines. His Concept, containing critical appreciations of prose and poetry, and his books on writing skill released by the Calcutta-based Nabodaya Publications have been well received by the teachers and the taught alike. Utpal’s Uranta Dolphin, an acclaimed collection of fifty-five Bengali poems, was published by Signet Press in 2018.

Press Reviews

“No doubt there is darkness around and people are forced to be silent, they still breathe. There is hope in every breath. One can hope for magic realism, one can hope for post humanism, one can hope for a blue orange. Bitan Chakraborty has given us just that.”— Kitaab

“Chakraborty paints his scenes and constructs his characters with an authentic sense of conviction, evoking the ordinariness of the everyday. The English translations carry the lilt of the original Bangla — one that adds and lends attractive warmth to the prose texts.”— The Asian Age

“This collection of seven short stories examines day-to-day living, leading to existential questions which we want to ask but dare not raise. The nuances are to be found in the details. The stories tell themselves in these experimental narratives.”— The Hindu Literary Review

The stories in the collection revolve around everyday life and broad human themes—the despair and dislocation of urban displacement, the frustration of being differently abled, a warm father-son relationship, a moment of epiphany on a crowded bus in the city, a young girl’s coming to terms with human betrayals, the exploration of a young boy’s guilt-ridden consciousness, a young woman’s hard fight against the establishment to hold on to her convictions—all these are explored through an apposite style and technique. Every detail is credible, anchored in the mundane reality of city-dwellers in urban metropolises in contemporary India. Chakraborty is not a fantasist or fabulist; reality is an unvarying constant in his stories. Pritha and Kamal, Chhanda and Bikash, all have to confront the harshness of reality—and the harshness is of an even monochrome, a hard and unvarying glare—virtually unrelieved by tenderness, as in a Mrinal Sen film. — World Literature Today

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