Fearless and flying Nabarun Bhattacharya

The Report Desk

Published: August 1, 2022, 01:30 PM

Fearless and flying Nabarun Bhattacharya

Nabarun Bhattacharya was an Indian writer in Bengali language. He was born at Berhampur, West Bengal. He was the only child of actor and playwright Bijon Bhattacharya and writer, activist Mahashweta Devi. His maternal grandfather was the writer from the Kallol era, Manish Ghatak. Visionary filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak was his great uncle.

His novel, Herbert (1993), was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award, and adapted into a film of the same name in 2005, by Suman Mukhopadhyay. Nabarun regularly edited a literary magazine Bhashabandhan. He was secretary of Ganasanskriti Parisad, the cultural organization of CPIML Liberation.

He studied in Kolkata, first Geology, then English, from Calcutta University. Nabarun married Pranati Bhattacharya, who was a professor of political science.

His magic realist writings introduced a strange set of human beings to Bengali readers, called Fyataru. Ffyat is the sound created by kites while they are flown; otherwise, fyat has also a hint of someone worthless, deriving from the words foto, faaltu; uru: related to flying.

In 2019, a new English translation of Harbart was published by New Directions, reviewed for Words Without Borders by Arka Chattopadhyay. In 2020, Sourit Bhattacharya, Arka Chattopadhyay and Samrat Sengupta co-edited a Bloomsbury volume of Nabarun's short stories, poems, interviews and a set of critical articles on his works: Nabarun Bhattacharya: Aesthetics and Politics in a World after Ethics. 

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