The Bride: The Maithili Classic Kanyadan
Author: Harimohan Jha
Translated by Lalit Kumar
9789356293915 | PB | pp. 174 | 2022 | HarperCollins Publishers
The Bride: The Maithili Classic Kanyadan, translated for the first time into English, is a delectable story about Indian matchmaking with its cast of imperfect but unforgettable characters.
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Thirteen-year-old Buchia is quick-witted and pleasant-looking, but in the competitive marriage mart of Bihar, her family needs to be resourceful and wily to find the right groom to uphold their pride. When a match is made with C.C. Mishra, English educated and recently graduated from Banaras Hindu University, everyone believes that a happy ending is near. But unknown to them, the groom dreams of a partner who writes poetry and plays tennis; is more-or-less a carbon copy of the film star Devika Rani. So, when he discovers that his new wife cannot even recognize the letters of the alphabet, their future begins to look less rosy …
When it was first published in 1930, Harimohan Jha’s Kanyadan blazed through the Maithili reading world and became the inspiration for numerous Indian novels and films. Translated into English for the first time, this delectable story about Indian matchmaking will charm readers with its cast of imperfect but unforgettable characters
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About the Contributors
The author Harimohan Jha (1908-1984) was born in the Kumar Bajitpur village of Vaishali district, Bihar. He studied English literature and philosophy at Patna University and taught philosophy there. He was a novelist, poet, satirist, critic and, above all, a lifelong crusader against obscurantism and oppressive social practices. Celebrated as the ‘Vidyapati of modern Maithili prose’, he won the Sahitya Akademi award posthumously for his 1984 autobiography Jeevan Yatra (The Journey of My Life).
The translator teaches English at Deen Dayal Upadhyaya College, University of Delhi. He has co-translated the Hindi bestseller Twelfth Fail (HarperCollins, 2021) into English and is currently co-editing a book on Amaranatha Jha for the Sahitya Akademi. He holds a doctorate in Maithili literary culture and the coming of print in Mithila from the department of English, University of Delhi. His articles have appeared in many national dailies, including The Hindu, The Times of India and Jansatta.
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