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SARAT KUMARI CHAUDHURANI (1861–1920)


Sarat Kumari was a writer in Bengali. She was born and grew up in Lahore, where her father Shashibhushan Basu worked. Her short stories were very popular in her own time. Rabindranath Tagore especially liked her work. She was married aged ten to the poet Akashary Kumar Chaudhury, who was intimate with the Tagores.

She was primarily a journalist, and only one of her works was published as a book, entitled Shubha Bibaha (‘Auspicious Marriage’; the conventional term used to announce a wedding). Her best-known story is ‘Adorer Na Anadorer?’ (Loved or Unloved? 1891) a subtly written yet powerful portrayal of the way women unthinkingly imbibe and project male prejudice. Her work is focused and stream-like; a technique admirably suited to the short story, but not to the long work, which probably explains her chosen literary form. She also wrote essays on women’s issues, such as ‘Ekal o Ekaler Meye’. Many of these were published in Swarnakumari Devi’s (q.v.) journal Bharati.
 
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