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Kautik on Embers: A Novel


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AuthorUddhav J. Shelke (Translated by Shanta Gokhale)
Published LanguageEnglish
Publication Year2017
PublisherSpeaking Tiger
Ships By2-3 days
SKU: ST-88 Categories: , Tag:


Kautik is prepared to work herself to the bone to feed her husband Mahadev and children Bhima, Nama and Yasodi. She not only drives herself hard, but drives them too, her only concern being that they should keep their dignity intact at all times. She pleads with her husband to pull his weight, often aiming sharp barbs at him. But Mahadev would rather sit under a tree smoking bidis than work. Bhima is a rebel, always on the lookout for opportunities to live a more exciting life. Nama is obedient and suffers for it. Yasodi is too young to make a difference. Ultimately, Kautik is alone in her fight for the family’s survival. However, when she discovers that nothing she does will ever be enough to defeat the calamities that life throws at her one after another, she crumbles, emerging through it all as a tragic heroine of epic proportions.
Kautik on Embers is a searing portrayal of the poverty, discrimination and desperation that continue to haunt the villages of rural Maharashtra. Originally published in Marathi in 1960 as Dhag, Uddhav J. Shelke’s terse narrative style and unadorned prose ensured its place in the Marathi literary canon as a modern classic. Shanta Gokhale’s outstanding translation now makes this iconic novel available in English.

About the author
Uddhav J. Shelke (1931Ð1992) was born in Hinganghat in the Vidarbha district of Maharashtra. After his school education, he joined the Amravati daily, Hindustan, as associate editor. Then he moved to Tapovan, Dr Shivajirao Patwardhan's colony for people affected with leprosy where he worked as proof-reader, compositor and finally manager of the printing press. He won himself a place in the Marathi literary canon with his first novel, Dhag. His prodigious output of long and short fiction thereafter pandered exclusively to popular taste. However, it allowed him to live as a professional writer.

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