Narendranath Mitra (1916-1975)

Narendranath Mitra was born on January 30, 1916 at Sadardi, in the district of Faridpur in what is now Bangladesh. His own mother Birajbala died when Narendranath was only four, and he was brought up by his step-mother. His father Mahendranath was a lawyer's clerk in nearby Vanga. After completion of high school in Vanga, Narendranath studied for the Intermediate degree in the Rajendra College in Faridpur. He graduated with a first class, and then he went to Calcutta and obtained a B.A. from the Bangabasi College. He had to struggle for simple livelihood all through these years, supporting himself by giving private tuitions, and by taking up an assortment of odd jobs after graduation. Finally, Narendranath joined the Ananda Bazar Patrika in 1951, where he worked until his death in 1975.

Though his first published article was a poem, Narendranath soon turned to prose. The first story, Mrityu o Jiban (Death and Life) was published in 1936 in Desh. Dwipapunja, Dehaman, (Body-mind; translated into Hindi and Marathi), Headmaster (translated into French); Mahanagar (The Great City; filmed by Satyajit Ray), Haribangsha, are just few among the 35 novels that he had written.

Narendranath became popular mostly because of his short-stories. Asamatal was the first published collection. He was a prolific writer--with some 500 short stories to his credit. Now all his short-stories are being brought out in a systematic collection.

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