By Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya
Translated into English as Love in the Time of Insurgency by the author (Katha Books, 2005)
Yaruingam is one of the earliest books published that deals with the lives of Tangkhul Nagas, and is also one of its most influential representations. In the novel, Bhattacharya presents the life of Nagas against the background of the Second World War with imaginative sympathy and understanding. He portrays the profound disagreements of Naga people reckoning with the intersection of various ideas – Christianity, traditionalism, the Indian Independence movement, and the nascent, controversial movement for Naga sovereignty. Today, the novel is widely considered to be a masterpiece of Indian literature. It won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1961.
About the Author
Birendra Kumar Bhattacharya (14 October 1924 – 6 August 1997) was one of the pioneers of modern Assamese literature. He was the first Assamese author to win the nation’s most prestigious literary award, the Jnanpith Award (1979). He wrote 20 novels, 6 Short stories, a 100 poems and innumerable essays and articles besides translating classics from Bengali and Assamese into English, including many of his own works. Nearly all of his novels are written with a political tone, particularly around the Independence movement and its often unrecognized by-products in peoples’ lives.