Why you should read Bengali pulp fiction

By A Staff Writer

Disappearing corpses. Scientists who are spies. Maniacal murderers. Brooding, remorseless detectives. Love triangles and murders. A robot that falls in love. Secrets of the dead and the departed. Sex, romance and betrayal.

All these and more are to be found in these eight novellas and stories featuring spies, criminals, ghosts, black-magic practitioners and, of course, femmes fatales. These are the finest examples of a long tradition of pulp fiction that has always lurked in dark corners within the hallowed precincts of Bengali literature.

Written by brilliant mainstream as well as pulp fiction writers from India and Bangladesh, including Premendra Mitra, Satyajit Ray, Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, Gobindolal Bandyopadhyay and the redoubtable Swapan Kumar, the stories in The Moving Shadow: Electrifying Bengali Pulp Fiction (Published by Aleph, Price Rs 499, Pages 256) give the reader a dazzling introduction to noir from the land of the bhodrolok.

About the author: Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. Over forty of his translations have been published so far. He has selected and translated the bestselling The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told. He has won the Crossword Translation Award for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2001).

Chowringhee was shortlisted for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2009). His translations have also been published in the UK, US, Europe and Asia through further translation.

 

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