A Ballad Of Remittent Fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay

A Ballad Of Remittent Fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay has been translated into English by Arunava Sinha. The book published by Aleph Book Company and it hit the shelves on 10th April 2020.

You can read more about the book here:

In the early years of the twentieth century, Calcutta is grappling with deadly diseases such as the plague, cholera, typhoid, malaria, and kala-azar caused by viruses, bacteria, and other infectious Organisms. The populace is restive under British rule, and world War I looms large on the horizon. Set against this tumultuous backdrop, is an indelible tale of loss, hope, love, and mortality. Dr. Dwarikanath Ghoshal is one of the city’s most celebrated physicians. Propelled by a fierce desire to vanquish the diseases that ravage the population, he does not hesitate to dismiss quackery, superstition, and old-fashioned beliefs that have contributed to high mortality rates and the spread of epidemics.

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"It is possible to derive great pleasure from battling an illness. You may be attempting to draw the man into your kingdom, god of death, but, I, the medical practitioner, am trying to pull him back towards life with all the weapons in my armoury. You may be the king of the realm of the dead, sir, but, I, too am no less a warrior from the kingdom of the living. You may be more powerful than I am, but I am a proud and obstinate soldier who will not concede defeat easily." ~ 'A Ballad of Remittent Fever' by @ashokemukhopadhyay, translated by @arunavasinha #fiction #tbr #newbooks #readinglist #translation #translationliterature #bengaliliterature

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Dwarikanath is equally dismissive of irrational customs in his personal life. His impatience with tradition begins early. He decides to study medicine against the wishes of his father (who disowns him), buys and dissects corpses, converts to Christianity, and instills that rebellious spirit in his descendants. Four generations of ghosts continue to infuse their scientific temper and liberal values into the lives of people around them. There is Dwarikanath’s headstrong son, Kritindranath Ghoshal, who as soon as he acquires his medical degree joins the Bengal Ambulance Corps and sets off for the battlefield in Mesopotamia during World War I. There is also his soulmate, his fiery cousin Madhumadhabi, who trains to be an Ayurvedic doctor, and is heartbroken when Kritindranath is married off. Equally compelling are Dwarikanath’s wife, Amodini, his grandson, Punyendranath, his great-grandson, Dwijottam, and a myriad other brilliantly imagined characters who play out their lives in the course of the novel, fighting diseases, social mores, and trying to cope with the enormous, convulsive changes the city and country are experiencing. Distinctive and beautifully wrought, a Ballad of remittent fever is a stunning exploration of the world of medicine and the ordinary miracles performed by physicians in the course of their daily lives. Originally published in the Bengali as ‘Abiram Jwarer Roopkatha’, this is one of the most original novels to have come out of India in the twenty-first century.

About the Author

Ashoke Mukhopadhyay is a corporate communications professional and guest faculty at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Calcutta University. He has written over fourteen books. Mukhopadhyay’s works include, among others, Agnipurush, Atta-N’tar Surya, and Abiram Jwarer Roopkatha. He has also edited five books—India & Communism, Mukti Kon Pathey, Partition of Bengal, The Naxalites through the Eyes of the Police, and ‘Terrorism’: A Colonial Construct.

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