Very Close to Pleasure, There's a Sick Cat and Other Poems

Shakti Chattopadhyay

Translated by Arunava Sinha


5 x 8 inches, 200pp. October 2017

ISBN : 9780857424938

Rs  499.00 (HB)
$21.50 (HB)
£14.99 (HB)

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In the early 1960s, the Hungry Generation revitalized Bengali poetry in Calcutta, liberating it from the fetters of scholarship and the fog of punditry and freeing it to explore new forms, language and subjects. Shakti Chattopadhyay was a co-founder of the movement, and his poems remain vibrant and surprising more than a half century later. In his 'urban pastoral' lines, we encounter street colloquialisms alongside high diction, a combination that at the time was unprecedented. Loneliness, anxiety and dislocation trouble this verse, but they are balanced by a compelling belief in the redemptive power of beauty.

This book presents more than one hundred of Chattopadhyay’s poems, introducing an international audience to one of the most prominent and important Bengali poets of the twentieth century.

Shakti Chattopadhyay (1933–95) was a critically acclaimed and popular Bengali writer and poet whose books of poetry include Hey PremHey Naishabdo, Jwalanta Rumal and Jete Pari, Kinto Keno Jabo? which one the prestigious Sahitya Akedemi Award. He also published 10 novels, several collections of travel writing, a collection of essays and Bengali translations of volumes by Omar Khayyam, Khalil Gibran, Mirza Ghalib, Heinrich Heine, Federico García Lorca and Pablo Nerua, among others.


Arunava Sinha is an award-winning translator of more than 35 books. He lives and works in New Delhi.

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