Shelf Control# 12: Harbart by Nabarun Bhattacharya (1993)

Shelf Control is a weekly book meme @ Bookshelf Fantasies in which we write about one book that we want to read and already own. Read our hostess Lisa’s choice for this week over here.

My choice for this week is a book from my part of the world:

Harbart Sarkar, sole proprietor of a business that brings messages from the dead to their near and dear ones left behind on earth, is found dead in his room after a night of drinking with local young men. He has killed himself. Why? Was it a threat to his business which brought him money, respect, a standing in the family, more clients and fame? Or was it a different ghost from his shadow life, where he was constantly haunted by his own unfulfilled dreams and delusions? And as the explosive events following his suicide reveal, as in his life, Harbart remains a mystery in death. Nabarun Bhattacharya’s first novel is a landmark in modern Bengali literature for its unconventional story-telling, uncompromising language and brutal honesty. Arunava Sinha’s equally uncompromising translation brings this classic work of black humour to readers in English.


Picked it up from a book fair and was really excited to read it as I want to read more texts from India but somehow haven’t got round to it. Does it interest you?


Want to participate, do it here.

3 thoughts on “Shelf Control# 12: Harbart by Nabarun Bhattacharya (1993)

  1. This is a new book to me, so I looked it up. It gets very good reviews and it is under 150 pages, so I will add it to my list to look for. It is described as black humor but since it is short, I think it is worth a try.


  2. Tracy and FF, thanks. After reading your comments, it suddenly struck me why I haven’t read the book so far: it is the mention of ‘black humour’ and ‘uncompromising language’. 😁


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