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The world is on the brink of World War II. Herta, like thousands of other Jews, is escaping from Hitler’s Germany to Shanghai with her frail mother and meagre possessions. Chakradhar Vidhwans, a Marathi man, is returning to Mumbai after a long stay in England. While on the ship from Italy to Shanghai, Herta is rejected for her race, and Chakradhar gets into a fight with a waiter who insults him for his skin colour. A chance encounter leads to Herta and Chakradhar finding solace and love in each other. But when Chakradhar disembarks in India and Herta can’t, their separation is tragic and moving.
Originally published in 1939 in Marathi as Ranaangan, this powerful investigation of nationalism is also a testimony to the redemptive power of love. Urgent and relevant now more than ever, this classic is brought to a new readership in a luminous translation by the celebrated author and translator Jerry Pinto.
Speaking Tiger Books
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About the Contributors
The author (1906-1998), was a prominent and immensely popular Marathi writer, playwright and film-maker. His first and only novel, Ranaangan, was published in 1939 and created a sensation in the literary circles of the time. Among the several plays he wrote are Bramhakumari, Naro Va Kunjaro Va, Vaje Paul Apule and Tilak ani Agarkar. In 1984, he published his autobiography, Ek Zhaad Ani Don Pakshi (A Tree and Two Birds), which won the a Sahitya Akademi Award the following year. A trained cinematographer, Bedekar also directed over fifteen films in Hindi and Marathi.
The translator is the author of the novels Murder in Mahim (2017; winner of the Valley of Words Award and shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award) and Em and the Big Hoom (2012; winner of the Hindu Prize and the Crossword Book Award), and the non-fiction book Helen: The Life and Times of an H-Bomb (2006; winner of the National Award for the Best Book on Cinema). He has also translated (from Marathi) the autobiographies Baluta by Daya Pawar and Strike a Blow to Change the World by Eknath Awad; the memoirs I Want to Destroy Myself by Malika Amar Shaikh and I, the Salt Doll by Vandana Mishra; Baburao Bagul’s short-story collection When I Hid My Caste; the novels Cobalt Blue by Sachin Kundalkar and Half-Open Windows by Ganesh Matkari; and, with Neela Bhagwat, a selection of abhangs by Marathi Warkari women saints, The Ant Who Swallowed the Sun.
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