Contents: Introduction. 1. In the company of ghosts. 2. The return. 3. Purnima. 4. Together and alone. 5. Beneath the Jamrul tree. 6. At the end of the day. Notes. Glossary.
"Jibanananda Das (1899-1954) was perhaps the most important Bengali poet after Tagore. However, the discovery of his unpublished manuscripts and their posthumous publication from the 1980s has gradually introduced a corpus of some eighty short stories and five novels that far exceeds in volume the original poetic canon, and has opened a new window on the literary career of Jibanananda.
"This volume offers the first ever translation of Jibanananda's early short stories, written between 1931-1933 but published only from the 1980s. Selected from the twelve volumes of Jibanananda Shamagra published so far, the stories are a representative sample of Jibanananda's distinctive and compelling style and of his insistent concern with time, memory, loss, death, marital discord and unemployment. The six stories included here are nearly autobiographical, and they provide an insight into the mind of Jibanananda, the poet. Moreover, they show how, in his secret life as a short story writer, Jibanananda expands the scope of Bengali prose at a time when, among others, Tagore, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhaya and Manik Bandopadhaya were writing some of the masterpieces of twentieth-century Bengali fiction. As the introduction puts the matter: 'the 1931-33 corpus may not fulfil common readerly expectations of plot and structure, yet Jibanananda's achievement rests precisely on that lack (or failure), for it yields fragmentary texts of considerable power and resonance'."