- Author: Rabindranath Tagore, Radha Chakravarty
- Publisher: Penguin
- ISBN: 9780143452645
Char Adhyay (1934) was Rabindranath Tagore's last novel, and perhaps the most controversial. Passion and politics intertwine in this narrative, set in the context of nationalist politics in pre-Independent India. Ela, a young working woman, comes under the spell of Indranath, a charismatic political activist who advocates the use of terror for the nationalist cause. She takes a vow never to marry, and to devote her life to the nationalist struggle. But she falls in love with Atindra, a poet and romantic from a decadent aristocratic family. Through their relationship, she becomes aware of the hollowness of Indranath's politics. Afraid that she might expose them to the police, the political group gives Atin the task of eliminating Ela. In the dramatic final sequence of the novel, Ela offers herself to Atin, with tragic consequences.
This new translation, intended for twenty-first-century readers, will bring Tagore's text to life in a contemporary idiom, while evoking the flavour of the story's historical setting.