The In-Between Woman- Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel prize for li...

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The In-Between Woman is a short story taken from The Essential Tagore, it has been reproduced legally and free of charge at the Guernica magazine website.

Synopsis (written by me)

The In-Between Woman is the story of the two wives of one man. When wife number one becomes ill she insists that her husband takes a second wife. She raises the 8 year old girl but as the second wife grows up things begin to become strained.


I read a review of The In-Between Woman on The Reading Life and although I usually don’t even consider reading short stories this one sounded interesting enough to give a go, plus it was free! I suppose one good thing about short stories is that they are very quick to read, I managed to read the whole of this one on my i-pod while drinking coffee in Starbucks. There’s something quite satisfying about being able to read a whole story in one sitting like that.

I did find the story very interesting, the idea of a woman raising another woman to be her husband’s new wife seemed so alien to me. I liked the way the relationship between the two women progressed from a sort of mother-daughter relationship to a more competitive relationship. I didn’t find the change that authentic, but that was partly because it felt like a very abrupt change. I think in a longer story it could have been stretched out more so the reader could see how things gradually changed. I didn’t feel that much for the characters either for the same reason, I did quite like the first wife (who was the narrator) but didn’t feel like I really knew her, I mainly just felt pity, especially after she had opened her home to this woman.

I found the language was quite beautiful, and very descriptive. I can imagine a full length story by Tagore being the type I would describe as beautiful but I did feel description was needed in other sections, even if it didn’t give the reader such a vivid picture.

Still worth a read if you have a little time to spare.

1 Comment

Filed under Fiction review, Literary, Short story

One response to “The In-Between Woman- Rabindranath Tagore

  1. I am glad you read this story-you might also like two other stories Tagore wrote centered on the lives of women-“The Wife’s Letter” and his very last short story “The Last Muslim Woman”-Tagore is kind of a cross between a short story and a parable writer-he was the first Asian to win the Nobel Prize-he gave moral advise to Ghandi and Einstein was intrigued by his metaphysics-a lot of his stories are online-He wrote largely in Bengali.-

    I enjoyed and learned from your excellent post


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