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India two worlds co-exist in extreme contrast to one another. There is the world of the big landowners, extraordinarily wealthy and hungry for power, and there is the world of the underclass ? mostly untouchable landless labourers, toiling for a mere pittance and living in virtual thraldom.
Prafulla Roy?s contemporary masterpiece, translated here as Freedom?s Ransom, encompasses these two worlds as he develops the intertwining story of a rich landholder?s quest for political power and the touching tale of a young Dalit couple and their dream of freedom from years of bonded labour.
With remarkable candour and sensitivity, Prafulla Roy depicts the world of the rural underclass in what is a richly detailed social document, a critique of contemporary
India and ? as in all his works ? a powerful story.
About the Author
Prafulla Roy was born in 1934 in a village in Dhaka district, now in Bangladesh. He started writing at the age of nineteen.
The Partition of India in 1947 provided one of the major themes in his writing, the other being rural poverty and most of his writings in this area emanate out of Roy's experience of life in the economically backward state of Bihar. His work has influenced filmmakers, particularly such major artists as Buddhadeb Dasgupta, Tapan Sinha, Biplab Ray Chaudhary and Sandeep Ray.
Dr John W. Hood is an Australian writer who has spent most of his life studying Indian culture, now divides his time between Melbourne and Kolkata. His translations from the Bengali include Niharranjan Ray's classic, History of the Bengali People, poems of Buddhadeb Dasgupta (Love and Other Forms of Death), and novels and short stories by Prafulla Roy, including the volumes of stories Set at Odds: Stories of the Partition and Beyond and In the Shadow of the Sun, as well as Buddhadeb Guha's Fanfare for a Tiger and The Bounty of the Goddess. His work includes books on Mrinal Sen, Buddhadeb Dasgupta and Satyajit Ray, as well as The Essential Mystery: Major Filmmakers of Indian Art Cinema.