Short stories à la Bangla | Diverse vignettes

In 2021, Delhi University quietly dropped Mahasweta Devi’s classic short story ‘Draupadi’ from its undergraduate English curriculum, prompting over a dozen members of the Academic Council to issue a note of dissent. First pub­lished in 1978, ‘Draupadi’ is about an adivasi woman from Jharkhand suffering sexual torture in the custody of the Indian armed forces. The story is a part of The Penguin Book of Bengali Short Stories, edited by Arunava Sinha. The project brings together 37 stories across nearly 500 pages, including works by titans like Rabindranath Tagore, Ashapurna Devi, Sankar and Sunil Gangopadhyay, as well as contemporary writers like Manoranjan Byapari, Anita Agnihotri, Shahidul Zahir and Selina Hossain. This book has something in it for readers of every persuasion. As the last two names indicate, it includes Bangladeshi writers working in Bangla as well.

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