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Author: U R Anantha Murthy
Translator(s)/ Editors(s): Suseela Punitha
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0198070489
Perhaps the most significant work in caste literature since Premchand’s Godan (1936), Bharathipura reveals U.R. Ananthamurthy’s preoccupation with moving beyond caste and class interests. First published in 1973, Bharathipura is about the practice of untouchability in a traditional society that is evolving into modernity through new economic forces brought in by a certain class of people. When the town’s wealthiest landlord returns home, multiple realities unfold. Violent and unexpected events follow Jagannatha’s attempts to revolutionize everyone and everything by linking his own transformation to the changes he wishes to orchestrate. Emotional, fast-moving, and deeply philosophical, this novel by one of India’s most famous living authors, himself the grandson of a priest, confronts every kind of reader with India’s greatest tragedy: caste. While Susheela Punitha’s translation retains the cultural and linguistic power of the original, the introduction by N. Manu Chakravarthy sketches the contextual map of the work. The interview with the author unveils his rare worldview. With its display of literary discipline in handling intertwining themes, this masterpiece will appeal to readers of all hues including students and teachers of Indian writing, comparative literature, and translation and cultural studies.FROM BACK COVER OF THE BOOK“I must take the Holeyaru into the temple.I must change the tradition of centuries with that one step. I must break Manjunatha. …In the one new step the Holeyaru take, all of us will die and be born anew.”“Should he go into the room and bring out the sailgrama right then? …There was no turning back now, and so he went in. The priest was horrified and the shock on his face made Jagannatha put out his hand as if to protect himself. Jagannatha pushed forward as if his whole family was pulling him back as he lifted the saligrama together with its casket.”“Adiga took his time breaking bits of jilebi and putting them into his mouth, and said, “This is all I have to say, Jagannatha. Do you really love the Holeyaru ? If you love them unconditionally, you’ll be one with bird, beast, and chandala and become an ascetic. There’ll be no question of any conflict whatsoever; no need for a revolution.”ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR:Susheela Punitha (Tr) has taught undergraduate and postgraduate courses in English language and literature. Her publications include children’s fiction for UNICEF and course books in spoken English. .
Author Note Translation Note Introduction Bharathipura In Conversation: U.R. Ananthamurthy and N. Manu Chakravarthy