The Open-Winged Scorpion
And Other Stories
Translated by Epsita Halder
5 x 8 inches, 240 pp. June 2018
ISBN : 9780857425508
Rs 599.00 (HB)
The Open-Winged Scorpion and Other Stories is a collection of ten powerful Bengali short stories, all translated into English for the first time. Hailing from Murshidabad district in West Bengal, Abul Bashar pens stories about precarious lives of marginal Muslim communities in that district. His tales are shot through with the fears, dreams, hopes, and anxieties of the communities he portrays: their poverty and piety, the sensuality of the ancient mythologies they reimagine and remember, the rituals that permeate their lives, and the ever-present influence of the River Padma, which brings the silt that makes the land flourish—and the floods that destroy the crops and the people who plant them. The complex dynamics of the trivial and the transcendental emerge in Bashar’s stories, as the tales become no less than an archive and richly imagined historical testimony of an abject community relegated to the margins of the society too focused on the future to remember people who are struggling in the here and now.
Abul Bashar is the author of more than forty books.
Epsita Halder is an assistant professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India.