Translated for the first time into English, Memories of Arrival brings together four books of a migrant’s story of displacement and exile in one volume. Adhir Biswas, a Dalit, makes the subalterns gain some visibility.
The author, though half-starved, gets an education. He finds possibilities, delighting in the city of Calcutta, making the most of what he can. He finds a place in the book world, finally emerging as the distinguished editor and publisher of Gangchil and Doel.
Adhir Biswas writes quietly and tersely, with much unsaid, to depict a life where the past and the present keep coalescing with dreams of the old place and the dreaminess of the new land. His story has much in common with that of migrants who leave a village or a small town to come to a big city and live in its shadows.