Indira Goswami is a great literary writer of her generation and a feminist icon. Most of her major works have been translated from Assamese into English; however some of her works are yet to be discovered by a larger audience. These five novellas represent a cross-section of her writing, with a special focus on women. Sensitively translated, with detailed notes on the translation, these stories bring to light the human condition that Indira Goswami portrayed in her writing. The lives of the rural poor, the situation of widows, the plight of the urban underclass and various social constraints under which people are forced to live are depicted in these impactful narratives. The deft use of language, striking imagery and strong characters are a hallmark of Indira Goswami’s writing. The stories in this selection exhibit these unique characteristics of her work in abundance. These nuanced translations bring the literary creations of one of the great writers of our times to new life and a wider audience.
About the Author
Indira Goswami (14 November 1942–29 November 2011), who wrote as Mamoni Raisom Goswami in Assamese, popularly known as Mamoni Baideo, was an award-winning author and an icon of feminist writing, who wrote about people rarely represented in Indian writing—women, the maginalised, the powerless, the unfortunate. Winner of India’s highest literary award, the Jnanpith (2001), as well as the Sahitya Akademi Award (1983), and the Principal Prince Claus Laureate (2008), Goswami was also an editor, poet, professor, and scholar, best known for her novels such as The Moth Eaten Howdah of the Tusker, Pages Stained with Blood and The Man from Chinnamasta. She was also known for her attempts to structure social change, both through her writings and through her role as mediator between the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the Government of India, through the People's Consultative Group, a peace committee. Translator Dibyajyoti Sarma has published three volumes of poetry (the last being Book of Prayers for the Nonbeliever, 2018) and two books of translations of Assamese poets Sananta Tanty and Kamal Kumar Tanti, and an academic book, besides numerous writing credits in edited volumes, journals and websites. He was born in Assam and now lives in Delhi, where he works as a journalist and editor and runs the independent publishing outfit Red River.