Thursday, February 21, 2013

Harvest Song: A Novel on the Tebhaga Movement

Harvest Song: A Novel on the Tebhaga Movement
Sabitri Roy
Translated from the Bengali by Chandrima Bhattacharya and Adrita Mukherjee
Foreword by Tanika Sarkar
demy octavo pb 373pp ISBN 81-85604-50-9 Rs 350 Jan 2006

Sabitri Roy’s trilogy, Paka Dhaner Gan, translated for the first time into English, and abridged, brings a neglected woman novelist to a wider audience. Focusing on the Tebhaga movement, the peasants uprising against unjust ‘taxes’, the novel provides an epic panorama of rural Bengal of the late 1930s and the 1940s. Roy depicts a range of women, from the educated and aware Lata and Bhadra to the less educated and more deprived villagers. She shows how socialist mores could come to fruition in relationships.

Sabitri Roy was a sympathizer but not a member of the Communist Party, which censored her novel, Swaralipi. She wrote many novels and short stories, all focusing on the political and social issues of her time.
Chandrima Bhattacharya is a journalist. Adrita Mukherjee is a writer based in New Zealand. Tanika Sarkar is at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.

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