The Last Burden

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The Last Burden
First edition
Author Upamanyu Chatterjee
Country India
Language English
Publisher Faber & Faber
Publication date
16 Aug 1993
Pages 352 pp
ISBN 0-571-16825-6
OCLC 43607106
Followed by The Mammaries of the Welfare State

The Last Burden is a novel by Upamanyu Chatterjee which portrays life in an Indian middle-class family.

In this novel, he travels the lives of different people constituting a joint family, expertly portraying their emotions, needs and desires. This is a portrayal of the financial, social and emotional problems that make people favor an atomic family in contrast to a joint family as was the predominant practise in India.

The author uses somewhat strong language but definitely makes the readers aware of the actual frictions that exist within the joint family structure. It elegantly portrays the decisions and sacrifices made by different people in a family and the frictions and the frustrations thereby. It also portrays the struggle of the newer generation in order to move into an atomic family structure from a strictly hierarchical joint family structure where even the elders have an even more elderly person who dictate the terms.

The novel talks about Jamun, a work less young man and his old father, Shyamanand, his dying mother, Urmila. The novel opens at the death bed of Urmila and takes you through the story of this middle-class family.