Beggar’s Bedlam (The India List) (Hardcover)

Beggar’s Bedlam (The India List) By Nabarun Bhattacharya, Rijula Das (Translated by) Cover Image

Beggar’s Bedlam (The India List) (Hardcover)

By Nabarun Bhattacharya, Rijula Das (Translated by)


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A hilarious and absurdist take on the political landscape of West Bengal, India.

Beggar’s Bedlam is a surreal novel that unleashes the chaos of the carnival on the familiar. Part literary descendent of Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita and part a reconstruction of lost Bengali history, Nabarun Bhattacharya’s masterpiece is a jubilant, fizzing wire of subaltern anarchy and insurrection.
Marshall Bhodi Sarkar and his lieutenant Sarkhel surreptitiously dig on the banks of the Ganges River looking for crude oil reserves. Instead, they unearth curved daggers, rusty broadswords, and a Portuguese cannon. Bhodi is an occasional military man and the lead sorcerer of the secret black-magic sect named Choktar. He joins forces with the flying Flaperoos—men with a predilection for alcohol and petty vandalism—to declare outright war against the Marxist–Leninist West Bengal government. In a bloodless revolution that is fascinating in its utter implausibility, a motley crew of yet more implausible characters come together in a magic-realist fictional remapping of Calcutta.
Nabarun Bhattacharya (1948–2014) was a prominent Bengali writer who enjoyed cult following in his lifetime and beyond. A journalist from 1973 to 1991 at a foreign news agency, he gave up that career to become a full-time writer. Novelist and short-story writer, he was also a prolific poet. 

Rijula Das is a novelist and translator. Her work has been translated into French, Russian and German.
Product Details ISBN: 9781803093789
ISBN-10: 1803093781
Publisher: Seagull Books
Publication Date: July 6th, 2024
Pages: 184
Language: English
Series: The India List
“A remarkable resurrection, one that erupts full-blooded, alive with laughter, stink and rage.”
— Praise for “Harbart”

“Swift and strange, Harbart tells the story of its titular character, an orphan whose life is characterized by loss and longing: a sweeping view of the richness and the turmoil of Bengali culture, literature, and politics in the twentieth century.”
— Praise for “Harbart”

“Nimble and vivid, Bhattacharya’s slippery narrative slithers forward and sideways through time: an acute, idiosyncratic reading experience.”
— Praise for “Harbart”

“Each story teeters on the edge of magical realism and surrealism, and the endings leave the reader aroused as if by a peculiar dream. The characters are both charmingly familiar and completely unbelievable: Bhattacharya stretches our imagination to the point of credulity. Noises, stenches, and difficult sights intermingle to create a book that truly lives and breathes. It is a challenge, but a worthwhile one.”
— Praise for “Hawa Hawa and Other Stories”

Hawa Hawa provides both a window looking back to the past as well as illuminating our present. Bhattacharya’s satire navigates the gaps of time and space to speak to our present time with wisdom. While these stories are rooted in the past, they nevertheless successfully critique modernity.”
— Praise for “Hawa Hawa and Other Stories”