Is there another Indian novelist whose books contain, not just so many beautiful sentences, but so many different kinds of beautiful sentences, as those of Gopinath Mohanty (1914-91)? No Indian novelist is as consistently—and meaningfully—melodious as him. Most thrillingly, in Mohanty’s great novels of tribal life in Odisha, the notes he summons derive not just from his own sense of rhythm, but from his material: man as he experiences the pleasure and danger of the forest, the proximity and capriciousness of the gods, and the elemental beat and spark of the life-force itself.
Amrutara Santana, just published as ‘The Dynasty Of The Immortals‘ by the Sahitya Akademi in a translation by Odia scholars and professors of English literature, (the late) Bidhubhusan Das, Prabhat Nalini Das and classical dancer Oopali Operajita, is one of two great novels about Odia tribal life written by Mohanty in his youth. The other is ‘Paraja‘, which appeared almost 30 years ago in an excellent translation by Bikram K. Das. Read more