Saikat Majumdar is an Assistant Professor of English Literature at Stanford University. Born and raised in Calcutta, he has spent the last decade studying and teaching in the US and Canada, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information, please log on to www.saikatmajumdar.com.
A retired schoolteacher in present-day Calcutta is caught in the labyrinth of rusty bureaucracy and political crime under a communist government. Across a vast ocean of time, a widow leads a life of stark suffering in a wealthy feudal household in 19th century, British-ruled Bengal, at a time when widow-burning has gone out of practice but widow remarriage is far from coming into vogue. As their stories begin to connect, they weave a larger narrative of historical forgetting, of voices that have been pushed out of the nation's memory. And what we are left with is the intriguing tale of two cities: the same geographical space separated by decades of experience and neglect. 'This is a book to cherish for a very long time, for its descriptions and evocations as well as for what it tells us about the ebb and flow of human expectation' -Amit Chaudhuri