Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay (1898-1971) along with Bibhutibhushan and Manik are considered three milestones in the history of the post-Tagore Bengali novel with the singular exception of Sarat-chandra. But it is not possible to make an assessment of Tarasankar comparing him to the other two writers. The three are pointedly different from each other. What is Tarasankar's achievement as a novelist? He is not an analyst of the inner sickness eating the heart of the social structure as Manik Bandyopadhyay is. He has no point of similarity with Bibhutibhushan either. The art of Bibhuti-bhushan has neither precedence nor following in Bengali literature.
But why was Tarasankar so readily accepted by the readers? The answer lies primarily in his selection of subjects. His asset was the knowledge of his subject at first hand. To him country is not some-thing abstract. Country is people, soil, crop, cultivation, taxation, revenue, agricultural loan, canal tax, crop-failure, famine, flood and back-breaking labour of the landless field labourers. This was the secret of his success and Mahasveta Devi, herself an eminent novelist, has taken great pains in depicting the life story of this great novelist, who is like a historiographer narrating the saga of the rise, fall, continuation and resurrection of a people.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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