- Author: Shaheen Akhtar, Shabnam Nadiya
- Publisher: Eka
- ISBN: 9789395073356
In eighteenth-century Bengal, the East India Company's influence and power is growing; the treasuries of the zamindars are emptying out and their mansions crumbling. Young Raj Chandra Chowdhury remains oblivious to these epochal changes. He's preoccupied with Rongomala, his mistress, a low-born dancing girl. His uncle Rajendra Narayan sees a chance, conspiring to take over. Meanwhile, Raj Chandra's childlike wife Phuleswari has developed a queer bond of sisterhood with her nemesis. As for Rongomala, herself, she dares to defy her caste status by demanding that a lake be dug in her name; she wishes to be remembered even after her youth and beauty have run their course. It is an audacity that might cost her dearly.
Shaheen Akhtar's Beloved Rongomala turns a fading footnote from rural Bengal's history into a saga of caste, class and gender that bristles with cinematic detail. Exquisitely translated by Shabnam Nadiya, this sprawling tale of passion, avarice and betrayal is one of the most memorable novels to come out of Bangladesh in recent years.