Combining Prose and Poetry, Sabarna Roy Charts New Path in English Literature


Among the post-modern authors in English, Sabarna Roy has carved out an enviable place for himself by delving deep into the psyche of different human characters that figure in his titles.

The writer’s popularity among English fiction reading population in India, particularly the youth, stems from his mastery over understanding the humans’ behavior along with their psyche in today’s industrial era beset by cut-throat competition and moves to get rich quickly.

Mr. Roy is very inventive as far as themes of his books are concerned, which work like multilayered matrices. Essentially an urban writer with his characters and perspectives of his titles remaining localized in Kolkata and other parts of West Bengal differentiate his art from others.

Creating Intellectual Storm in Indian Literary Scenario

Mr. Roy who has got an affluent taste for intellectual simulations has come a long way since publishing his debut masterpiece; Pentacles. His next four titles, mainly dissects the darker sides of post-modern human society pockmarked with greed and lust, creating an intellectual whirlpool in the realm of ideas. No wonder when this graduate of Jadavpur University who has already graduated himself as a literary wizard was recently invited as a speaker on the opening day in a Panel Discussion on the Dark Side of the Human Mind at Tata Steel Literary Meet 2020 in Kolkata.

Sabarna Roy’s creations are a marked departure from traditional claptraps of the crop of half-baked writers suddenly rising in India and abroad. Naturally, weaving of plots as we find in his books are classic in a sense that they force the readers to think, use their intellectual faculties of mind.
This is the difference of being Sabarna Roy!

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The difference is also marked by his supreme dexterity in combining prose with poetry and shifting one genre to another even within the same title. Perhaps a peep into his novels would substantiate how his creations created an intellectual storm forcing their readers to think, and think aloud. Take Pentacles – a long story and four long narrative poems — as a case study!

Talking about the long narrative poems, namely, The Tower, 2001-2002, Chasing and Tara, we find they are a most unique blend of surrealism and magic realism. No wonder, they created intellectual ripples in the minds of its readers.

Frosted Glass is another title that very boldly tells the darkness of industrial culture gripping Calcutta with all its haphazard urbanization degrading the moral standards and breeding socio-economic rifts. It also suavely highlights the environmental degradation, a subject rarely touched by neo-writers.

Mr. Roy had not just condensed himself to short stories or narrative poems but has also weaved his magic as a playwright, which is quite evident in the Abyss. The play which wraps up in just two acts focus on the debate of either using the agricultural land for agriculture or industry.

How could it have been possible that an artist with multiple attributes, wouldn’t have infused the beauty and sweetness of his varied arts; as it has been quite evident in his dual anthologies, Winter Poems-2010 & Winter Poems-2012. If the former series of 12 poems deal with imagination of death and home, the latter series deals with the idea of loss coming to terms with gradual wasting of life.

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Apart from writing in national and international journals on various topics of varied interests, Mr. Roy has published his recent masterpiece, Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018 Time Frozen in Myriad Thoughts in 2019 and this engineer-turned-author received the coveted Literoma Laureate Award for Fiction in 2019 and was a speaker on the opening day at the Noida International Literature Festival 2019.