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Hawa Hawa: and Other Stories (The India List)

Hawa Hawa: and Other Stories (The India List)

Current price: $21.00
Publication Date: March 6th, 2023
Seagull Books
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A collection of inventive and surprising short stories from one of India’s most prominent countercultural writers.
In this wildly inventive collection of Nabarun Bhattacharya’s stories, we meet characters such as a trigger-happy cop in an authoritarian police state, a man who holds on to a piece of rope from a deadly noose, a retired revolutionary thrilled by delusions of grandeur, and people working for a corporation that arranges lavish suicides for a price. Ranging from scathing satires of society to surreal investigations of violence and love, these stories are also a window onto the political and social climate in Bengal, tracing both pan-Indian developments like the 1975 Emergency and local ones like militant-leftist Naxalism and the decades-long Communist reign in the state. Expertly translated from the Bengali, Hawa Hawa and Other Stories is a journey through the mind of one of the most daring countercultural writers of India, one with particular resonance in these chaotic times.

About the Author

Nabarun Bhattacharya (1948–2014) was a prominent Bengali writer who enjoyed cult following in his lifetime and beyond. A journalist from 1973 to 1991 at a foreign news agency, he gave up that career to become a full-time writer. Novelist and short-story writer, he was also a prolific poet. 

Subha Prasad Sanyal is the winner of the Harvill-Secker Young Translator’s Prize (2018). He is pursuing a degree in English from Jadavpur University, Calcutta.

Praise for Hawa Hawa: and Other Stories (The India List)

"Bhattacharya's satire navigates the gaps of time and space to speak to our present time with wisdom. While these stories are rooted in the past, they nevertheless successfully critique our modernity."
— Chicago Review of Books

“Hawa Hawa and Other Stories is a blistering and unforgiving portrait of our times. It reminds readers to peer beneath the surface, even if for a moment. Despite being strongly rooted in the realities of daily life, the stenches, sounds, and sights of Calcutta add elements of surrealism to the stories. Hawa Hawa and Other Stories is a slow, disconcerting read but as long as there is abuse and misuse of power, station, and wealth, Nabarun Bhattacharya’s words will live on.”