Seventeen, written by acclaimed Bengali author Anita Agnihotri, brings together the best of more than one hundred pieces of her published short fiction. By turns intense, brittle, angry, sad, and torn apart in conflict, the stories here bring out the different faces of human hardship and explore an India that is still largely unkwn. Set in both cities and villages, in small-town India and in international suburbia, the pieces run the gamut of experiences--both everyday and extraordinary. From personal relationships set against a background of turmoil to social truths told through the unique lives of individuals, each of these stories paints a picture of human fragility. Presented here in English for the first time by award-winning translator Arunava Singh, readers encounter a brother and sister who visit the unique crater-lake that their dead, estranged mother had written to them about in her letters. We find a middle-class employee whose orderly life is turned upside down when his employer holds back his paycheck without an explanation. And we find the employees of a forgotten outpost in a sun-baked town who consider mass suicide when they realize there is hope of survival. From start to finish, there's question here: Seventeen is literary craftsmanship at its best.
Anita Agnihotri is a Bengali writer. She is the author of more than twenty-five books. Arunava Sinha is an award-winning translator of more than thirty books. He lives and works in New Delhi.