A Ballad of Remittent Fever

A Ballad of Remittent Fever


, tbr-2020, Cultural

In the early years of the twentieth century, Calcutta is grappling with deadly diseases such as the plague, cholera, typhoid, malaria, and kala-azar caused by viruses, bacteria, and other infectious organisms. The populace is restive under British rule, and World War I looms large on the horizon.

Set against this tumultuous backdrop, is an indelible tale of loss, hope, love, and mortality.

Four generations of Ghoshals continue to infuse their scientific temper and liberal values into the lives of people around them. There is Dwarikanath’s headstrong son, Kritindranath Ghoshal, who as soon as he acquires his medical degree joins the Bengal Ambulance Corps and sets off for the battlefield in Mesopotamia during World War I. There is also his soulmate, his fiery cousin Madhumadhabi, who trains
to be an Ayurvedic doctor, and is heartbroken when Kritindranath is married off. Equally compelling are Dwarikanath’s wife, Amodini, his grandson, Punyendranath, his great-grandson, Dwijottam, and a myriad other brilliantly imagined characters who play out their lives in the course of the novel, fighting diseases, social mores, and trying to cope with the enormous, convulsive changes the city and country are

Distinctive and beautifully wrought, A Ballad of Remittent Fever is a stunning exploration of the world of medicine and the ordinary miracles performed by physicians in the course of their daily lives. Originally published in the Bengali as Abiram Jwarer Roopkatha, this is one of the most original novels to have come out of India in the twenty-first century.

Title:A Ballad of Remittent Fever
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    A Ballad of Remittent Fever Reviews

  • Sudeepta Pradhan (booksteaandmore)

    A ballad of remittent fever can be best described as a juxtaposition of a family saga of the Ghosal family-centred around Kolkata and their relentless pursuit of medical science to improve the quality...

  • Chitra Ahanthem

    The irony in reading ‘A Ballad of Remittent Fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay, translated by Arunava Sinha during the times of the global Covid 19 pandemic is not lost on me. Here’s a book that looks a...

  • Devangana

    A ballad of remittent fever by Ashoke Mukhopadhya, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha. Set in 19th and 20th century, a medical historical fiction with the changing socio-political landscape of C...

  • Md Akhlaq

    It was Calcutta that the researchers had discovered the comma-shaped germs for the first time in the faeces of cholera patients.A novel which is very perfect in the current scenario where the whole wo...


    Calcutta, a city struggling to outweigh its cordial relationship with superstitions and maintain a balance, urgently needed to uphold itself against the crushing weight of deadly diseases ( Cholera, t...

  • Read.Dream.Repeat.Blogger

    The Ballad of Remittent Fever is a blend of a story. It has science, medicine, history, epidemics, & hundreds of names and faces- all woven together to bring a package of scientific revelations, commo...

  • Nidhi Kapoor

    I loved this book for the insight into life in Kolkata and the story of a population dealing with epidemics, everyday struggles and superstitions....

  • Sanjit Mandal

    A brilliant take on disease and medicine from colonial time to the present. The Ghosal family's intergenerational connection with the profession of doctors and the relationships that they share within...