The Lonely Monarch

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Hachette India, Feb 10, 2013 - Fiction - 248 pages
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Calcutta, 1924. In the vibrant world of Bengali theatre, Sisirkumar Bhaduri, a young man of talent and vision, is king. A brilliant performer, he is loved and respected by his peers, adored by spectators and acknowledged as a master by Rabindranath Tagore himself. Yet, Sisirkumar remains passionately committed to a singular dream: to steer his audience away from the raucous melodrama that has come to be called entertainment toward an evolved enjoyment of stage performance. This searing novel brings to life Sisirkumar’s relentless efforts to free the stage of Western influences and mediocrity; his frustration and disillusionment with apathetic patrons and obdurate audiences; his ruinous weakness for alcohol; and the impossible ideals that alienated him from his closest friends and the women in his life. This translation of Sunil Gangopadhyay’s spirited recreation of the tumultuous life of a remarkable man and a defining era in the history of Indian theatre is a tribute to the might and resilience of the creative spirit.'

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About the author (2013)

Poet, novelist, playwright and children’s writer, Sunil Gangopadhyay (1934–2012) was an eminent and prolific literary figure. His literary career began in 1953 with the publication of the first issue of Krittibas, a poetry magazine of which he was founder editor. Although a popular writer in different genres, he always considered poetry to be his first love. He is the author of the Sahitya Akademi Award-winning magnum opus Sei Samay (Those Days). Pratham Alo (First Light) and Purbo-Paschim (East-West) are his other well-known novels. He has been awarded the Bankim Puraskar, Ananda Puraskar and Saraswati Samman besides other awards for his literary contributions.'

Swapna Dutta has been writing, mostly for children, for the last four decades and has more than 40 titles to her credit, including translations. She was awarded a fellowship from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India, for translating selected poems by twenty contemporary Bengali poets into English. Her translations of works by Rabindranath Tagore, Premchand, Parashuram, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Ashapurna Debi, Lila Majumdar, Samaresh Basu, Samar Sen, Shankha Ghosh, Shrikant Varma and others have been published in literary magazines and by English-language publishers.'

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