Shortlisted | Book Awards 2020 | Translated into English
Tiger Woman (Shardulsundori)
Nationalism is on the rise and the Bengali intellectuals are leading the protest against British rule in India. In this charged climate, ardent patriot Priyanath Bose prepares to set up the first Bengali circus.
Soon he discovers an exceptional young girl, Sushila, and trains her to be a trapeze artist. As the circus flourishes and big animal acts are introduced, Sushila and the tigers become the star attractions. But the prize Sushila craves is unattainable, as Priyanath, a married man, is forced to reject her love for him. Jilted, she begins a relationship with a fellow circus artiste, but he may not be as loyal as Sushila believes, and his escape acts are now a bigger hit than ‘Sushilasundari and the Tigers’.
At once a riveting page-turner and an uncommon historical novel, Tiger Woman places this tragic love triangle in an era of patriotism, as the circus becomes a metaphor for a frustrated social revolution.
Sirsho Bandopadhyay is a journalist and author, currently associated with the Bengali daily Aajkaal and the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. He often writes for other publications. Tiger Woman, originally published in Bengali as Shardulsundori, is Sirsho’s first novel. Sirsho has published four other novels, the most recent being Tero Nadir Paare, forthcoming in English translation. He has also published two collections of feature writings and a series on forgotten Bengali luminaries.
Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. Over forty-five 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), he has also won the Muse India Award for translation for When the Time Is Right (2012) and been shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2009) for his translation of Chowringhee. He was born and grew up in Kolkata and lives and writes in New Delhi.
‘Tiger Woman’, the English translation of Sirsho Bandopadhyay’s Bengali novel ‘Shardulsundori’, is a menagerie of people, events, and animals which, in lesser hands, would have probably not been as effective… Writing a novel like Tiger Woman was certainly not an easy task, and translating it must have been as humongous. Sirsho Bandopadhyay and Arunava Sinha have brought to life an intriguing side of Bengal’s – and India’s– history. Tiger Woman is quite an accomplishment and a must read.
– Huffington Post