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Book Review: By the Shadows and the Sunlight by Saurav Dutt

I haven’t read something this moving in a long while. Almost in all four long stories, Saurav placed strong women protagonists. I could feel their trauma, pain, and agony of being ignored at all junctures. Well, let me tell you that I am taking about the new book of Saurav Dutt, in this he is offering a collection of four long stories. It is “By the Shadows and the Sunlight.”


In each of the story, the author unearths a layer that reeks of disparity against women. Yes, this time the collection is, silently, dedicated to women of India. In fact, the last story where we see the unsolved case of Sanjani is based on true event i.e. Neha Paswan from North India. She was killed by her villagers for bearing jeans and sounding modern. Terrific! Saurav’s word skills can make any simple or ordinary story intense and laced with literary vividness.

Though the first story is of Sujata Dasgupta from Kolkata, it was plot less for much time but I liked it most in the collection due to the honest and straightforward character of her. She flew down to Kolkata to attend the funeral of her father. She is an NRI, living in Canada, but Kolkata once her hometown treats her nothing more than a tourist. Relationship changes with distance, I got it perfectly from this story. Above all, I liked her roaming about the streets and alley of Kolkata. It was heart-wrenching to see the city that I cannot visit. As a lead guy of the story, I could feel her loneliness. She was strong but looking for company.

The book is written quite beautifully. At times lyrical, haunting, evocative and mystical. That is true Saurav Dutt work! The third story is enchanting with the horror element. You will find something strange yet gullible. The way Saurav sketches his characters with flaws and strong will to outpace all odds is a work of brilliant job from all aspects. I always admire Saurav for his amazing and commendable job.

Buy from Amazon/Kindle.


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