In this collection—ranging from stories of love found and lost to tales of the supernatural—Ghosh masterfully traces the inscrutable ways of the human heart. The reigning queen of Bombay cinema allows a younger leading man to fall in love with her to spite her husband. A schoolmaster’s ravishing wife joins him in the small town where he works, inspires him to build a garden for her, and sets about wrecking his life. An impoverished student sits across a purdah from a nawab’s begum; she dictates letters to her husband and, as the student takes down her words, he falls into forbidden love with the voice from across the screen. And an unbending priest from Noakhali finds all the principles of his life upended after Muslim rioters kidnap his daughter.
Marked by psychological insight, keen observation and vivid prose, That Bird Called Happiness brings to readers the work of one of the greats—not only of Bengali literature but of the Indian literary canon.