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The Manipuri writer Binodini's Sahitya Akademi Award-winning historical novel The Princess and the Political Agent tells the love story of her aunt Princess Sanatombi and Lt. Col. Henry P. Maxwell, the British representative in the subjugated Tibeto-Burman kingdom of Manipur. A poignant story of love and fealty, treachery and valour, it is set in the midst of the imperialist intrigues of the British Raj, the glory of kings, warring princes, clever queens and loyal retainers. Reviving front-page global headlines of the day, Binodini's perspective is from the vanquished by love and war, and the humbling of a proud kingdom. Its sorrows and empathy sparkle with wit and beauty, as it deftly dissects the build-up and aftermath of the perfidy of the Anglo-Manipuri War of 1891. Binodini is the supreme stylist of contemporary Manipuri literature and an icon of Manipuri modernism, and her tale of a forbidden love and ostracism vividly brings to life the court and manners of a little-known Asian kingdom. In doing so, she recovers its little-known history, its untold relations with India and Great Britain, and a forgotten chapter of the British Raj.
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"The Princess and the Political Agent" is published by Penguin Random House India and is the first literary work from Northeast India to be included in its distinguished Modern Classics series. It is available on Amazon India in paperback and as a Kindle e-book.
The story is unfinished and ends on a cliffhanger in the final episode.
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