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The powerful story of an Untouchable in India’s caste system, now with a new introduction
With precision, vitality, and a fury that earned him praise as India’s Charles Dickens, Mulk Raj Anand recreates in Untouchable what it was like to live on the fringes of society in pre-independence India. Bakha, an attractive, proud, and strong young man, is also an Untouchable, the lowest of the low in India’s caste system. A sweeper and a toilet-cleaner, he must warn others on the street of his status so that he will not pollute them with his presence. In this urgent 1935 re-creation of one day in the life of an outcast, a violent encounter leads Bakha to question his fate—and to find an answer in the unlikeliest of places.
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Mulk Raj Anand (1905-2004) was among the most highly regarded Indian novelists who wrote in English. Born in Peshawar, he lived in England for many years before settling in a village in Western India after World War II.
Ramachandra Guha is the author of a forthcoming two-volume biography of Gandhi and is a professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
One of the most eloquent and imaginative works to deal with this difficult and emotive subject -- Martin Seymour-Smith It recalled to me very vividly the occasions I have walked 'the wrong way' in an Indian city, and it is a way down which no novelist has yet taken me -- E. M. Forster
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