Updated: Nov 23, 2020
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Partha Banerjee, a Graduate in Electronics & Telecom Engineering and a Masters in Operations Research holds a high office in IT Management in one of the reputed retail companies in the UAE.
He has been passionate about literature and writing from his childhood and has received due recognition for his literary acumen and work. He is known in his circle for writing on uncommon topics.
Right from his childhood, the Second World War and the Third Reich fascinated him. During his visits to Germany, he witnessed the history of the Third Reich and visited the infamous Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps. The Third Reich and Nazi Germany have had a strong influence on his mind.
'The White Eagle’ is his second novel and is based on the life and exemplary work of Irena Sendler during wartime Poland. His first novel ‘Nitza’, which is widely appreciated in India and abroad is available on Amazon Kindle
Q. What inspired you to write your book - The White Eagle?
My passion for the Second World War and the success of my first novel Nitza inspired me to take a deeper dive into the subject and look for a subject that was not common particularly among the Indian readers. I wanted to bring the character of Irena Sendler to the Indian readers and particularly the younger generation not only as a historical character but also as an inspiration for compassion, humanity, and selfless service to people, all of which are becoming rare with time.
Q. What is the significance of the title?
The White Eagle is a very rare and special category bird. It is known for its speed, the accuracy and precision with which it executes, its protective nature towards its nestlings, and finally its ability to evade capture. I found a lot of similarities between the White Eagle and Irena Sendler. I believe the readers would also discover the same. Secondly, the White Eagle is the highest Civilian Honour of Poland, which was conferred on her, though quite late in her life. I am thankful to my wife for suggesting this title to me when I was looking for one.
Q. If you had to describe Irena in three words, what would those three words be?
Blessing for mankind
Q. What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning this book?
It took me nearly two years to complete the book. Since the matter is not restricted to the life of Irena Sendler but also analyses the socio-political built-up which resulted in the second world war, I must say, the research has been extensive. Initially, I spent about 6 months doing the basic research about the main characters and positioning them suitably in the storyline. Then it was a continuous process till I finished the writing.
Q. What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
There were mainly two challenges. One: to sync the fiction with the historical facts; remember, it’s not old or ancient history. It’s barely 75 years old and the topic is very sensitive even to this day. I had to be especially careful in ensuring that the fiction was as real as the history and every character in the novel, whether fictional or real, maintained their identity. Two: the stress of the intensity of the facts and related imagination. I was unable to write at a stretch for over two hours and would have to take a break to unwind and ease out the resulting heaviness of the mind and body.
Q. Who would you describe your book’s ideal reader?
I would like to mention here with all humility that like my previous book NITZA, this book is also not meant for arm-chair reading. Neither it is expected to have a mass appeal. It is suitable for those readers who have a passion for the Second World War, are interested to know about the Holocaust, and value compassion and humanity.
Q. If your book is adapted into a movie, who will play your main character?
Ha Ha… well, I guess that’s too much of an expectation. A film has been made already depicting her role during wartime Poland – The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler, starring Anna Paquin as Irena Sendler. If you are talking about Indian cinema, the name that immediately comes to my mind is Kangana Ranawat. But then, I repeat, it could be a difficult proposition for the Indian cinema, as no portion of the story can be Indianized, and an adaptation would dilute the effect.
Q. What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
Humanity & compassion is not bound by any religion, caste, or creed. Service to fellow humans should be selfless and finally – karmanye wadhikaraste maa faleysu kadachana
Q. Future of SALISMANIA.com through your eyes?
I appreciate your penchant for serious topics and earnestly hope that you would continue to raise your bar by broadening your spectrum of interest and gaining more knowledge. There is no end to it and every book is a source of knowledge and information of some sort. In view of your approach to encouraging new and seasoned authors, I foresee a bright future for Salismania. Finally, I foresee new authors like me benefitting from your promotional initiatives.
It was a pleasure associating with you. Keep up the good work. All the best!!
ABOUT THE BOOK
‘The White Eagle’ is a work of historical fiction in the backdrop of wartime Poland, specifically the ghettos of World War II. As a work of historical fiction, there is serious historical research involved on matters such as the genesis of Soviet-Polish antagonism and the events that led to the invasion of Poland in 1939. But ultimately, this is a story of ultimate human courage and sacrifice. The protagonist, Irena Sendler, was a hero of the Polish Resistance. She was a Polish Catholic social worker who along with nine of her associates smuggled Jewish children out of the ghetto and placed them with convents and foster families. She risked her life and saved the lives of more than 2,500 children from imminent death and gave them a new life. The children saved by her are known as “Irena Sendler’s Children”. Using the known historical facts about her life as scaffolding, the author fills in the blanks. The result is a gripping story – an adventure story of magnificent, operatic proportions.
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