SUBRATA DASGUPTA
scholar, writer, professor

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Fiction



THREE TIMES A MINORITY  :  A Novel.  Writers Workshop Calcutta, 2003.
 

This is my first novel.  It was published by Writers Workshop Calcutta, a rather famous independent publishing house founded and managed by Purushottam Lal (recently deceased), a distinguished  critic, professor, poet and translator and one of India's most well known promoters of 'Indian writing in English'.  Writers Workshop is especially known for three  reasons.  First, all its publications are handbound and handstitched, with the hardback covers made from brocaded sari material with gold lettering  and the title page written by P. Lal  by hand using his characteristic calligraphic style.  Second,  Writers Workshop has offered a launching pad for new writers, usually very young, and some of India's most distinguished poets have had their first books published by them.  (My son, Shome Dasgupta's first book of poems, In This Place (2003) was published by Writers Workshop).  Third, Writers Workshop has virtually  no distribution system.  Its publications are available from its own 'outlet', located in Professor Lal's house in Calcutta and from the authors.  In modern jargon, it is an 'indie' publishing house.


PRAISE:
 

"The novel is culturally rich ... its discussions are not confined only to science but extend to architecture and ... literature ... the novel is a worthwhile read."   Deccan Herald (India)

 

"The novel is a moving and highly perceptive story of ... an Indian woman whose passion was physics but who surrendered her passion to the demands of her family and to the demands of propriety ... The novel is truly remarkable because the author has been able to convey the excitement and risks of doing scientific research ... It is a book to savour for its convincing portrayal of the struggles of a scientist and a woman ..."   The Statesman (India)





THE GOLDEN JUBILEE  :
A Novel.  Amaryllis, 2012 (In press).

This is my first  novel to be accepted by a commercial (or 'trade') publisher.  It is scheduled to be published in late 2012.

SYNOPSIS:

A family and significant others gather one summer weekend in a northern California home to celebrate the 50th marriage anniversary of a Bengali-American couple, Deb and Ruma.  Assembled in their American-upper class, hillside home overlooking the Pacific are sister Nanda, a fiercely independent widow with a quizzical outlook on life visiting from Kolkata and a columnist for a women's magazine, elder daughter Anji, an academic, with her film-maker lover Asha, a Gujarati , younger daughter Diya, a writer for a fim magazine accompanied by her American televangelist-preacher lover, son Ranju, a taciturn confirmed bachelor, Alan, Anji's son from a failed marriage, Tom, Diya's ex-husband but on affable terms with the rest of the family, and Diya's and Tom's twin offspring.    A full house.  Yet all is far from well.  The golden jubilee weekend was to be a time of celebration through conversation, food and music, but it becomes a time of relationships lost and found, of remembrances of wilfully-forgotten pasts, of confessions, of new decisions, and of resolutions of old personal conundrums.    The story is told through the thoughts and eyes of all the main protagonists, Deb, Ruma, Nanda, Anji and Diya. 





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