Rana Bose

Rana Bose was born and raised in Calcutta (Kolkata), India. Although he has worked as an engineer, Bose is best known in Canada as a playwright and novelist. His plays have been performed in Canada, the United States and India. Bose lives in Montreal and sometimes in India. He is one of the editors of Montreal Serai, a literary webzine.

Drama

The Death of Abbie Hoffman and Other Plays

Calcutta: Seagull Books, 1999.
PS8553 .O74 D43 1999

Publisher’s Synopsis

All three of the plays in this volume have an Indian link: in fact, The Death of Abbie Hoffman was adapted from Michhil (Procession), the milestone play by Badal Sircar; the father figure of avant-garde street theatre in India. On the Double shows how, for Asian immigrant women, the reality of their lives in Canada is no different from what it might have been in Baroda, Ghat Kopar or Beliaghata; and in The Sulpician Escarpment, the roots of the intricate plot lie buried in Calcutta.

Hard-hitting, quick-moving, visually striking and very contemporary, these plays show Bose at his best.

Drama

Five or Six Characters in Search of Toronto and Other Plays

New Delhi: Prestige, 1998.
PS8553 .O74 A19 1998

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Rana Bose is an intellectual dissenter. All his plays highlight the theme of protest, not specific injustices or individual incidents of suffering so much as the systemic shortcomings that give rise to and perpetuate an unjust society. His plays have a Canadian setting but their implications have global relevance.

Fiction

Fog: A Novel

Montreal: Baraka Books, 2019.
under consideration

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

A small plane was blown up in an act of sabotage several years ago over Eastern Quebec, Canada. All the passengers and crew were killed. The incident was quickly analyzed and termed a mechanical failure. The case was declared cold, in a rush. What intrigue and what unseen, powerful forces could hush up such a catastrophic incident?

A young actor from Montreal dies in Afghanistan. Killed by a missile from a drone. His death opens up wounds and discussions that are not in the public domain. These two seemingly disparate events form the backbone of a compelling contemporary thriller, set in the Main district of Montreal and in the blue-green mountains of Kandahar.

Three friends—an eccentric dancer with a destructive split personality, an actor and tragic neighborhood hero who climbs out of the hood and destroys all existing notions about him, and the narrator, a non-descript follower who changes his life dramatically and takes control after a brutal assault—work together to de-freeze the cold case and burn up the fog. What does it take to clear the pall of complex emotions, the unresolved local and personal conflicts and the intricate remembrances of various communities in a fabled neighborhood?

Fiction

The Fourth Canvas

Toronto: TSAR Publications, 2008.
PS8553 .O74 F68 2008

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

In the early 1970s a reclusive artist and philosopher disappears in Paris after completing a fantastic series of canvases that trace the rise and fall of empires. Eventually his bloated body is dragged from the Seine. The knowledge and insight die with him. Years later, Claude Chiragi, a graduate student in Montreal receives a mysterious painting and senses the relevance of the theory embedded in the artwork. His curiosity is instantly aroused, and he launches a global search for clues that will help him understand the message and unravel the mystery of the artist’s fate. Embedded in the paintings are tell-tale historical clues, mysteriously coded, that predict imperial entropy in the future—from economic collapse and cultural decadence to a coup d’etat against civil society. Kidnappings, killings, undercover conspiracy and a trek into ancestral roots, lend to this novel its quality of intellectual mystery and gripping suspense.

Fiction

Recovering Rude

Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2000.
PS8553 .O74 R43 2000

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Rana Bose’s first novel begins in a comfortable Calcutta neighbourhood where the sons and daughters of the well-to-do have perfected the art of transforming themselves into street urchins. After school and at night, mostly on the threshhold of adolescence, they eagerly mix with fascinating visitors from the edge of town who carry the seeds of Calcutta’s legendary social unrest. Their political activity takes place in the carnival atmosphere of the city’s streets and markets, until a bloody political clash turns them into adults before their time. And while they inevitably grow up and grow apart, their lives remain inextricably linked by the carnage and cover-up they were powerless to do anything but witness.

Set mainly in Calcutta, Houston, and briefly in Montreal, Rana Bose deftly introduces us to a cast of characters who bristle with life. Humour and despair intertwine like strands of DNA – until the human condition is laid bare and ‘recovery’ is finally complete.

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Rana Bose.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 255.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017

Links

Publisher Baraka Books

Publisher Mawenzi House (formerly TSAR Pulications)

Publisher Véhicule Press

Publisher Seagull Books

Montreal Serai website