Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyaya (1894-1950), a major novelist from Bengal, is one of our greatest writers. His Pather Panchali ( Song of the Road ) has been immortalized through Satyajit Ray's film. Aranyak, composed between 1937-39, was based on Bibhutibhushan s long and arduous years in northern Bihar, where he came into contact with a part of the world that, even now, remains unknown to most of us. In Aranyak, Bibhutibhushan weaves visionary poetry with a stark and uncompromising documentation of the day-to-day lives of the dispossessed subsistence peasants, penurious brahmans, migrant landless labourers and adivasis. To this world the writer brings his own lifelong interest in the natural sciences and astronomy, his study of historical records and surveys and his familiarity with the lore of travel books. This classic novel will be of much interest to all lovers of literature and to those involved with environment/displacement issues the world over. Aranyak has been translated into many Indian languages. This is the first complete translation of the novel in English. Rimli Bhattacharya is a well-known translator and scholar whose area of research has been theatre history, particularly that of turn-of-the-century Bengal. She is currently with the Department of English at the University of Delhi. Her published works include Binodini Dasi, My Story and My Life as an Actress (1998) and a translation of Rabindranath s Tagore s Char Adhyay as Four Chapters (2002).
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