Dahan | Suchitra Bhattacharya | Book Review

Spoiler Free Review

I had chosen this book to be a part of Project India where I have a goal to read atleast one book from each state of India. The book had great reviews and has been made into a Bengali as well!

But after reading this book, I felt it was better to not put it in the list for the translated version was just not good enough to showcase a part of Bengali literature to the world!

Title: Dahan
Author: Suchitra Bhattacharya Pages: 265
Rating: 2/5
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
Image Credits: Goodreads

My Thoughts

This is a book about the lives of women in India, or rather the side which most people don’t see and mostly, plainly ignore and take for granted. This is a story on things that everyone thinks but doesn’t talk about.

The ratings and hype around this book were phenomenal and is one of the widely read Bengali books and honestly, that was the only reason I had to even finish it.

The translation of the book was simply terrible. It clearly was the first draft of the translator that made it into print. It was really saddening to see a powerful story fall prey to unthinkably bad translation.

I do understand that translating something isn’t easy, but when you have sentences in English which just don’t make sense, spelling mistakes every two paragraphs and sentences printed twice all over the book it just sucks the joy of reading. In fact, it makes it even hard to read! There were sentences whose subjects didn’t even agree with the verbs, in some cases because subjects were missing in the sentences. The editing was abysmal! If it was even edited, that is.

Coming to the story, it did touch up on a lot of social stigmas that prevail in society. It talks mainly on how the honour of a family trumps over rights of a woman to seek justice and forces women (even in educated strata) to take a step back from standing up for themselves and asks the important questions on what does manly and womanly mean in the society where people expect women to have unquestionable loyalty and lack self-confidence.

I really believe that I could take back much more from the story if only it were translated properly. I can actually feel sad how a great piece of literature is ruined by careless editing.

My Recommendation

The story being good, I would recommend this book to anyone who can read Bengali to take it up.
Anyone else, better stay away until a better translation is found.
I would rate this book a 1/5 for the super bad translation.
I would give the story a 3/5 based on what I could assume based on whatever I could take back from the book.

I Would Rate it:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Well, here is a song for you.

Until Next Time,
Stay Home, Stay Safe,
More Power To You

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