Review | The Greatest Assamese Stories Ever Told

With so many languages that our country has, most of India’s literary works are confined only to the the states where that particular language’s identity exists. Thus, the works are confined to the socio cultural identity of a particular place. Literature can be rooted to one’s immediate surroundings but it should also reach the rest of the world, and translations are the way to go for it.

This collection has 25 short stories translated from the Assamese, bringing the works of some very well known names whose works would be familiar to readers reading in English – Indira Goswami, Harekrishna Deka, Rita Chowdhury and Birendra Kumar Bhattarcharyya, but also works by authors who have been very popular in the Assamese literary scenes but their works haven’t been read by the mainstream literary consciousness.

The stories in this book have various themes. Lakhminath Bezbaroa’s Patmugi is about unequal marriage and a woman’s sexuality. Harekrishna Deka’s The Captive is a story of a kidnapper and his victim. Aghoni Bai by Birinchi Kumar Barua tells the story of a woman who is judged by the readers on several accounts. Syed Abdul Malik’s Mistaken Identity is set in Calcutta and talks about communalism in the pre partition time.

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