Selected Short Stories, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Poet, novelist, painter and musician, Rabindranath Tagore (1861 1941) is the grand master of Bengali culture.

Written during the 1890s, the stories in this selection brilliantly recreate vivid images of Bengali life and landscapes in their depiction of peasantry and gentry, casteism, corrupt officialdom and dehumanizing poverty.

Yet Tagore is first and foremost India's supreme Romantic poet, and in these stories he can be seen reaching beyond mere documentary realism towards his own profoundly original vision.




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Review by

"Small lives, humble distress, Tales of humdrum grief and pain", November 23, 2014This review is from: Selected Short Stories (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)Containing thirty very short stories, often only about six pages long, yet for all their brevity the author completely wraps you up in the world and the events.Set in and around the River Padma (near Calcutta) in the late 19th century, Tagore writes of the ordinary people: deaths and marriages, children, poverty, the rich, the mean, the avaricious... Plus a couple with a ghostly touch. It's an era where women are definitely second-class-citizens; especially if they fall ill, when their husbands may well seek another wife; where the Hindus live alongside a Moslem population and the English governors....and where the river is a constant backdrop with its luxory houseboats and its monsoon flooding.The collection includes a poem, 'Passing Time in the Rain' (from which I have taken title of this review) and a selection of letters written by Tagore. Also a comprehensive glossary of Hindu terms encountered, a family-tree of family and map of Padma River area.Masterly storytelling, enhanced by a superb translation.

Review by

This is a beautiful collection of short stories. Although the stories are somewhat driven by fates, the protagonists are original in their actions, and the themes linger in mind long after I put them down. Tagore has great insight in human psyche and behavior.

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