Item description for The Collector's Wife by Mitra Phukan...
This is the story of Rukmini who is married to the District Collector of a small town in Assam, and teaches English literature in the local college. On the surface, her life is settled and safe in the big, beautiful bungalow on the hill above the cremation ground, seemingly untouched by the toil and sufferings of the common folk living 'below'. And yet, each time there is an 'incident' in the district, the fear and uncertainty that grips the town finds a reflection in her own life. Assam is in the grip of insurgency and it is this thread that runs like a dark river through the novel and forms its backdrop.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.3" Width: 5.5" Height: 1" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Dec 28, 2005
Publisher Penguin Global
ISBN 8186706836 ISBN13 9788186706831 UPC 186706014005
Reviews - What do customers think about The Collector's Wife?
A hauntingly beautiful book Aug 16, 2006
Mithra Phukan's book "The Collector's Wife" is set in Assam, an Indian state that has been in turmoil for a long time. It portrays the sedate and mundane life of Rukmini Bezbaruah, the wife of the District Collector Siddharth Bezbaruah. For those who are not familiar with the Indian bureaucracy, a Collector is the administrative head of a district and is a title based on the British name for a person who collected the revenues.Rukmini who has no children whiles away her time by doing chores that befit the social standing of the first lady of the district and tries to overcome her boredom by teaching English literature at a local college part time. Phukan's portrayal of the catty and often malicious gossip that emanates from the teachers' lounge and the local Tea Planters Club is excellent and seems authentic in a society that is based on the feudal remnants of the tea planter generation that founded the town of Parbatipura where the novel is set. In the periphery of Rukmin's consciousness is the student agitation that became so popular in Assam and the rebel movement that originally started as a protest against illegal settlers from neighboring Bangladesh. As the novel progresses, Rukmini gets caught up in the vortex of the armed struggle,initially by becoming aware of the toll it took on her close knit group of acquaintances and eventually by her chance encounter with the dashing Manoj Mahanta,a tire salesman with whom she develops a relationship. He seems more sensitive than her austere and professional husband. Rukmini, who has been trying to concieve for several years gets attracted to the casual,fun loving and divorced Mahanta. Their relationship gets inextricably meshed with the rebel movement with resultant tragic consequences. Ms. Phukan has woven a masterful story with an intricate and believable plot. Her portrayal of Rukmini's ambivalence towards her rigidly controlled husband and her lover is superb. Her story takes on twists and turns that adds on to the enjoyment of the book. The novel is hauntingly beautiful and left a lasting impression on me. Ram Shenoy