Mirror of the Darkest Night
Translated by Shamya Dasgupta
6 x 9 inches, 208pp. October 2018
ISBN : 9780857424396
Rs 599.00 (HB)
It’s the mid-to-late 1800s. In the backdrop, the British have banished Wajid Ali Shah, the nawab of Awadh in Lucknow, to Calcutta. In the foreground, to the sound of the soulful melody and the strains of the sarangi, the mercurial courtesan Laayl-e Aasman is playing a dangerous game of love, loyalty, deception and betrayal. Bajrangi and Kundan, bound by their love for each other and for Laayl-e, struggle to keep their balance. Spanning generations and geography, the scale of the novel sweeps the devil, a crime lord and many other remarkable characters into a heady mix.
Mirror of the Darkest Night is almost an aberration in Mahasweta Devi’s oeuvre. Known for her activism and hard-hitting indictment of social inequalities, she pays close attention to detail in this sparkling novel. It offers a rare glimpse of Devi’s talent for telling a fantastic, romantic and thrilling tale.
Mahasweta Devi is one of India's foremost writers. Her powerful fiction has won her recognition in the form of the Sahitya Akademi (1979), Jnanpith (1996) and Ramon Magsaysay (1996) awards, amongst several other literary honours. She was also awarded the Padmasree in 1986, for her activist work amongst dispossessed tribal communities.
Shamya Dasgupta is a sports journalist—print, TV and online—for close to two decades now, and currently works as senior editor with Wisden India. Author of Bhiwani Junction: The Untold Story of Boxing in India (2012) and Cricket Changed My Life: Stories of Hope and Despair from the IPL and Elsewhere (2014), he lives and works in Bangalore, India.