Details for Shake the Bottle and Other Stories
Ashapurna Debi gazed into the heart of the domestic life of the Indian woman as no other writer in the world has done. In one story after another, numbering into thousands by the time she was done, she examined the imprisonment of the women within their homes and their responses to the power play, pressures and hypocrisies lying beneath the surface of the apparent solidity of the middle-class urban family. Nobody has written as relentlessly, with as much insight and yet with as light a touch, of the darkness of both the interior and the behavioural life within the four walls of the home. Over more than 70 years of a writing career, she created an extraordinary oeuvre, whose depths will be mined for generations.
Twenty-one of Ashapurna Debi’s most shocking stories, cherry-picked from over a thousand, have been brought together in this collection. Why these stories in particular? Each of them unravels an unexpected, even dreadful, side to the personalities of the women who feature in them. In every story, a deceptively quiet but potentially explosive act of revolt takes place – or comes close to taking place. Far from the sweet and submissive stereotype of the wife/mother/daughter/woman of the house that familial structures have enforced, it is the rebellious side of the woman, often forced to emerge through cruelty, viciousness and even hatred, that stands revealed. these are scandalous stories, each one of them.
About Ashapurna Debi
Prominent Bengali novelist, short story writer and poet, Ashapurna Debi was one of the first women writers to claim a position in a literary canon, otherwise, dominated by the standards set by male writers. Born on 8 January 1909, her childhood was spent within the confines of a conservative household. Married 15 to Kalidas Gupta, she lived in the times of social and political restlessness.In her career spanning 70 years, Ashapurna wrote extensively about the private lives of her characters within middle-class Bengali households. Best remembered for her magnum opus, the trilogy, Prathom Protishruti, Subarnolata and Bakul Katha, she published her first poem in a children’s magazine at the age of 13.Ashapurna was felicitated with the Jnanpith Award and the Padma Shri, thereafter, in 1976. She breathed her last on 13 July 1995.Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. More than forty of his translations have been published so far. Twice the winner of the Crossword translation award, for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2011), respectively and the winner of the Muse India translation award (2013) for Buddhadeva Bose’s When the Time Is Right, he has also been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. Besides India, his translations have been published in the UK and the US in English and in several European and Asian countries through further translation.He was born and grew up in Kolkata and lives and writes in New Delhi.
Other Books By Ashapurna Debi