There’s a Carnival Today

There’s a Carnival Today

Indra Bahadur Rai

Translated By

Manjushree Thapa




Paperback with flaps


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(Paperback with flaps | ISBN 9789386702319 | 248 pp | October 2017)


Darjeeling in the 1950s. Janak, a prominent businessman and local leader, stares at professional, political and moral ruin. His store is failing and he has been sued by Jayabilas—a Marwari trader, once his friend and business partner, to whom he owes money. Bhudev—Janak’s partner at the party which is working to organize workers—has triumphed over him in a bitter struggle for leadership. Janak’s son Ravi, of whom he expected better, has become a schoolteacher and is involved in party work in the tea estates—Janak is convinced that Bhudev is using Ravi to further undermine him. And, despite being in a blissful marriage with Sita, Janak is drawn to the charms of Yamuna, the wife of an ailing friend.

Then, tea-estate workers protesting the arrest of their comrades spontaneously march into town. They are joined by others along the way and the march quickly grows in size. But after the rally ends in a massacre by the police, Janak must find a way out of his morass to stand up and be counted once more.

Capacious and prescient, There’s a Carnival Today is as much a panoramic view of post-Independence Darjeeling as it is of the sharply observed, flesh-and-blood characters who people it. It is also a foreshadowing of the issues of identity which still shape politics and attitudes in the region. Brilliantly translated by Manjushree Thapa, this seminal work by one of the tallest figures in contemporary Nepali literature is a modern classic.


‘The great Darjeeling novel—multi-layered, capacious and full of surprises, like life itself. A classic of Nepali literature, brilliantly translated.’—Jerry Pinto

‘Indra Bahadur Rai is the most respected and renowned figure in the world of modern Nepali literature. A masterly storyteller, he is also a serious thinker, skillful essayist and proficient critic… I believe that, just as I did, everyone will find the English translation of his novel by Manjushree Thapa, who is internationally acclaimed for her English writing, to be astonishingly impressive and beautiful, and an original work in its own right.—Bairagi Kainla, poet, literary critic and Chancellor, Nepal Academy

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About the author

Indra Bahadur Rai

One of the most prominent and best known writers in the Nepali language, Indra Bahadur Rai is the author of thirteen books—apart from the novel Aaja Ramita Chha—spanning the genres of short fiction, memoir, literary criticism and drama. He is the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award, the Jagadamba Shree Puraskar and the Agam Singh […]

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