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Swarnalata

1 November 2011

Tilottama Misra
Translated from Asomiya by Udayon Misra
Zubaan,
200 pages, R295
Set in mid-19th century Assam when the forces of tradition were being challenged, Swarnalata is the story of three women from very different social backgrounds, each caught in a whirlpool of change. Women’s education and widow remarriage, the plight of indentured labour, peasant resistance against colonial exploitation, the reformist initiatives of the Brahmo Samaj and the proselytising efforts of Christian missionaries are themes that run through the narrative. First published in Asomiya in 1991, Swarnalata is considered one of the finest historical novels from Assam.

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