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The novel has been written in an epistolary fashion, where it reads like a number of diary entries. The language of the protagonist, Sangvikar, is an instrument in divulging his worldview. He uses a Marathi dialect spoken in rural Maharashtra. Despite the pessimistic undertones, there is an element of humour throughout the novel. Another technique employed by the author is that the narration describes "historical investigations" often undertaken by Sangvikar and his friend Suresh Bapat, which ultimately uncover to them the absurdity and pathos of their conditions.
The novel is an account of years spent by a student from rural part of Maharashtra to very urbane Pune to pursue higher studies. The novel when read by different age groups brings completely different experience and perception. The most noteworthy aspect of this novel is its completely different flavor of Marathi language. No one before and possibly after Nemade (including himself in subsequent work) has successfully attempted such. There is no romanticism associated to the hostel life portrayed in this novel, which is generally done. The central character, Pandurang is unusually cynical despite his age.
The narration style is influenced by The Catcher in the Rye.
"Kosla" has been translated in many Indian languages and also in English. The available translations of "Kosla" are as follows:
- Kosla (Hindi) published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (1983)
- Kosheto (Gujrati) published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (1995)
- Kosla (Kannada) published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (1995)
- Palur Vah (Assami)published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (1996)
- Kosla (Punjabi) published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (1996)
- Cocoon (English) published by Macmillan Publishers India, Chennai (1997)
- Need (Bengali) published by Sahitya Academi, New Delhi (2001)
- Kosla (Urdu) published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (2002)
- Koshapok (Orria) published by National Book Trust, New Delhi (2005)
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