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Dozakhnama: Conversation in Hell by Rabisankar Bal

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Dozakhnama: Conversations in Hell is an extraordinary novel, a biography of Manto and Ghalib and a history of Indian culture rolled into one.

Exhumed from dust, Manto’s unpublished novel surfaces in Lucknow. Is it real or is it a fake? In this dastan, Manto and Ghalib converse, entwining their lives in shared dreams. The result is an intellectual journey that takes us into the people and events that shape us as a culture. As one writer describes it, ‘I discovered Rabisankar Bal like a torch in the darkness of the history of this subcontinent. This is the real story of two centuries of our own country.’

Rabisankar Bal’s audacious novel, told by reflections in a mirror and forged in the fires of hell, is both an oral tale and a shield against oblivion. An echo of distant screams. Inscribed by the devil’s quill, Dozakhnama is an outstanding performance of subterranean memory.

 

About the Author
Rabisankar Bal is a Bangla novelist and short-story writer, with over fifteen novels, five short- story collections, one volume of poetry, and one volume of literary essays. Born in 1962, he has been writing for over thirty years. His novel The Biography of Midnight won the West Bengal Government's Sutapa Roychowdhury Memorial Prize. Dozakhnama, acknowledged by the late doyen of Bengali literature, Sunil Gangopadhyay, as the finest novel of 2010, won the West Bengal Government's Bankimchandra Smriti Puraskar. Bal has edited a collection of Saadat Hasan Manto's writings translated into Bangla. A journalist by profession, he lives in Kolkata and passionately follows literature, music, painting, and world cinema. His next novel is based on the life of the Sufi poet Jalaluddin Rumi, and told through the imagined eyes of Ibn Batuta.

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Dozakhnama: Conversation in Hell by Rabisankar Bal

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