Silverfish

silverfishMajumdar, Saikat. Silverfish. HarperCollins: 2007

A retired schoolteacher in present-day Calcutta is caught in the labyrinth of rusty bureaucracy and political crime under a communist government. Across a vast ocean of time, a widow leads a life of stark suffering in a wealthy feudal household in 19th century, British-ruled Bengal, at a time when widow-burning has gone out of practice but widow remarriage is far from coming into vogue. As their stories begin to connect, they weave a larger narrative of historical forgetting, of voices that have been pushed out of the nation’s memory. And what we are left with is the intriguing tale of two cities: the same geographical space separated by decades of experience and neglect.

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