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In this collection of stories, set in the fecund, mineral-rich hinterland and the ever-expanding, squalid towns of Jharkhand, Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar breathes life into a set of characters who are as robustly flesh and blood as the soil from which they spring, where they live, and into which they must sometimes bleed.
Troupe-master Mangal Murmu refuses to perform for the President of India and is beaten down, Suren and Gita, a love-blind couple, wait with quiet desperation outside a neonatal ward, hoping for different reasonsthat their blue baby will turn pink, Panmuni and Biram Soren move to Vadodara in the autumn of their lives, only to find that they must stop eating meat to be accepted as citizens, Baso-jhi is the life of the village of Sarjomdih but, when people begin to die for no apparent reason, a ghastly accusation from her past comes back to haunt her, and Talamai Kisku of the Santhal Pargana, migrating to West Bengal in search of work, must sleep with a policeman for fifty rupees and two cold bread pakoras.
The Adivasi Will Not Dance is a mature, passionate, intensely political book of stories, made up of the very stuff of life. It establishes Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar as one of our most important contemporary writers.
About the Author Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar is a medical officer with the government of Jharkhand. He is also author of the critically acclaimed novel The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey which was shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2014 and the Crossword Book Award 2014. Sowvendra received the Sahitya Akademi Yuva Puraskar in June 2015.