Award-winning author Chandan Pandey brings a collection of nine surreal yet gritty, violent yet poetic, stories set in the heartland of India. 

The themes of The Keeper of Desolation are urgent and relevant for today's times.  

Superbly translated from the Hindi by Sayari Debnath.

NEW DELHI, April 18, 2024 -- HarperCollins Publishers presents The Keeper Of Desolation Stories by Chandan Pandey, translated from the Hindi by Sayari Debnath.

'Sinister and tender, poignant and hard-hitting.' – Geetanjali Shree

Published by HarperCollins

Paperback | Fiction | 240 pp | INR 299

Releasing 18 April 2024

About the Book

A farmer urges the Prime Minister to change the formula for compound interest…

A man refuses to make space for another on a train and is beaten to death

A family living in a single room forgets one member even exists… 

Surreal yet gritty, violent yet poetic—such is the world of Chandan Pandey's fiction. Set deep in the heart of present-day India, The Keeper of Desolation chronicles the warped realities our everyday lives must confront and battle. Immersive and provocative in equal measure, these stories from one of the most powerful voices of our generation make for an arresting record of our times—while transcending time itself. 

Author Chandan Pandey says, "I wrote these stories in the grips of unrelenting restlessness. I look keenly at the strongest walls of our inherent culture and think carefully, until finally, a story glimpses at me. And that's what I write. What else can I say about my creations?"

Sayari Debnath, translator of The Keeper of Desolation, says, "In these stories, Chandan Pandey writes about anxieties that are difficult to give voice to – can taking out a loan plunge us into deeper debts, what if I become a victim of a kangaroo court, how much of a person can I be at my workplace? His stories present possibilities that we assume are too outlandish to happen to 'regular' people like ourselves. While translating, I encountered a language that was taut yet poetic, and I hope to have done justice to what is truly a distinct voice in contemporary fiction."

Rahul Soni, Associate Publisher – Literary, HarperCollins India, says, "Chandan Pandey's fiction is a reflection of the warped realities we're living in. His dark dispatches from the heart of the nation comprise some of the most powerful and urgent writing coming out in Hindi today. Legal Fiction remains among the best novels we've published in the past few years, and the stories in The Keeper of Desolation – in Sayari Debnath's excellent translation – fully live up to the expectations that had set up. I'm also delighted to mention at this point that we'll be publishing Chandan's next novel – a sequel of sorts to Legal Fiction called Songs of Glory – next year."

Praise for The Keeper of Desolation

'Sinister and tender, poignant and hard-hitting, the stories in The Keeper of Desolation bring us face to face with the wretched and the affluent, the good and the evil of contemporary Indian society. Sensitive to Chandan Pandey's ever-varying, often whimsical, idioms, tones and styles, Sayari Debnath's translation provides glimpses into his outstanding fiction.'Geetanjali Shree, winner of the International Booker Prize 2022 for Tomb of Sand.

About the Author and Translator

Chandan Pandey is the author of four short-story collections and two novels in Hindi. He has been honoured with the Bharatiya Jnanpith's Navlekhan Award, the Vanmali Yuva Katha Samman, the Shabd Chhaap Samman, and is a recipient of the Krishna Baldev Vaid Fellowship. The translation of his acclaimed debut novel, Vaidhanik Galp, was published in English as Legal Fiction in 2021.

Sayari Debnath translates from Hindi and Bengali into English. She is a culture journalist at Scroll where she writes about books, literary trends and art. In 2019, she graduated with a Master of Arts in English from Jadavpur University, Kolkata.

About HarperCollins India

HarperCollins India publishes some of the finest writers from the Indian Subcontinent and around the world, publishing approximately 200 new books every year, with a print and digital catalogue of more than 3,000 titles across 10 imprints. Its authors have won almost every major literary award including the Man Booker Prize, JCB Prize, DSC Prize, The Erasmus Prize, New India Foundation Award, Atta Galatta Prize, Shakti Bhatt Prize, Gourmand Cookbook Award, Publishing Next Award, Tata Literature Live! Award, Gaja Capital Business Book Prize, BICW Award, Sushila Devi Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, and Crossword Book Award. HarperCollins India also represents some of the finest publishers in the world including Harvard University Press, Gallup Press, Oneworld, Bonnier Zaffre, Usborne, Dover, Nosy Crow, and Quarto. HarperCollins India is India's most awarded publisher seven Publisher of the Year Awards (2015, 2016, 2018, two in 2021, 2022, and 2024). HarperCollins India is a subsidiary of HarperCollins Publishers.




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