Aleph Book Company to publish A Ballad of Remittent Fever: A Novel by Ashoke Mukhopadhyay, translated by Arunava Sinha, in April 2020.

A novel about deadly epidemics and the extraordinary physicians who battle them.

Epidemics and pandemics are making news headlines with increasing regularities with the most recent having to do with the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus in China. To tackle this epidemic (as with all the other outbreaks in history) a host of dedicated medical professionals are risking their lives in an eort to contain the disease. e heroics of physicians who are at the frontlines of battling epidemics has rarely been chronicled, and this is why A Ballad of Remittent Fever is unique.

In this novel, Ashoke Mukhopadhyay gives us an insight into the lives of a family of extraordinary physicians who battle viruses, bacteria, and a host of other infectious organisms and vectors that cause deadly diseases and epidemics.


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. e 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. Dr Dwarikanath Ghoshal is one of the city’s most celebrated physicians. Propelled by a fierce desire to vanquish the diseases that ravage the population, he does not hesitate to dismiss quackery, superstition, and old-fashioned beliefs that have contributed to high mortality rates and the spread of epidemics. Dwarikanath is equally dismissive of irrational customs in his personal life. His impatience with tradition begins early. He decides to study medicine against the wishes of his father (who disowns him), buys and dissects corpses, converts to Christianity, and instils that rebellious spirit in his descendants.

Picture Credit: Aleph
Picture Credit: Aleph

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.


Ashoke Mukhopadhyay, a corporate communications professional and guest faculty at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Calcutta University, has written over fourteen books. Mukhopadhyay’s works include, among others, Agnipurush, Atta-N’tar Surya, and Abiram Jwarer Roopkatha. He has also edited five books—India & Communism, Mukti Kon Pathey, Partition of Bengal, The Naxalites through the Eyes of the Police, and ‘Terrorism’: A Colonial Construct.


Arunava Sinha translates classic, modern, and contemporary Bengali fiction and non-fiction into English. Over forty of his translations have been published so far. He has selected and translated The Greatest Bengali Stories Ever Told and The Moving Shadow: Electrifying Bengali Pulp Fiction. He has won the Crossword Translation Award for Sankar’s Chowringhee (2007) and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen (2001). He has also won the Muse India Award for his translation of When the Time is Right (2012). His translation of Chowringhee was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (2009). His translations have also been published in the UK, US, Europe, and Asia through further translation. He grew up in Kolkata and lives in New Delhi.

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