Young Tagore is a first-of-its-kind psychobiography that deepens our understanding of Rabindranath Tagore, perhaps the greatest multifaceted genius India has produced in the last two hundred years. In this reconstruction of Tagore’s childhood and youth, preeminent psychoanalyst Sudhir Kakar draws a nuanced portrait of the young prodigy and the decisive experiences that shaped him: the death of his mother when he was fourteen, the intimate bond he shared with his sister-in-law Kadambari and his sojourn in England. Through these Kakar uncovers the vital themes in young Rabi’s inner world that shaped his creative genius: his yearning for solitude that was tempered by his fear of loneliness; his preoccupation with spiritual concerns that enabled him to give voice to the sensualist within; and his abiding quest to find a balance between traditional Indian values and Western cosmopolitanism. Kakar’s scrutiny is intense as he pieces together this incredible puzzle, but the rigorous scholarship is finely balanced with deep empathy. In laying bare the inner workings of Tagore’s brilliance, Kakar reveals the real man behind the towering genius.
One of India's most cherished figures, Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1914) was a novelist, short-story writer, poet, essayist, painter, educationist and thinker, the first non-European to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1913. He modernised Bengali literature, moving it away from its rigid classical form and strict linguistic structure. Known for works such as Gitanjali (Song Offerings), Gora (Fair-Faced) and Ghare-Baire (The Home and the World,) his novels, short stories and verse are considered part of the greatest of world literature, famous for their exploration of the political and the personal.