Abandon by Sangeeta Bandyopadhyay (tr. Arunava Sinha)

a nutshell: a metafictional, overpowering haze of wants, needs & question marks as a woman lets us into her attempts to be both mother and artist – exquisitely translated by Sinha from Bandyopadhyay’s Bengali

a line“we drift through the morbid yellow afternoon”

an image: one of many passages that drew a sharp breath was Ishwari’s note that the novel will continue to shriek as its characters – she & her son – claw their way between the poles of extreme humanity / extreme art

a thought: it’s impossible to be at ease at any point of this novel, in which Ishwari’s dislocated existence sees her flit from a serene space focused on art, spirituality & consciousness to a dire bedsit teeming with vomit & ants

a fact: Bandyopadhyay has said outrage in India caused by her earlier novel Panty (re: sex scenes) wreaked havoc with her son’s school life, her publisher’s reputation and even her translator Arunava Sinha

 

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