Voices from the Past is a transgender horror novella written by Yu Sakurazawa.
The protagonist is 21-year-old Briton, Peter Wright who marries his sweetheart, Libby Brown. The two visit Kolkata for their honeymoon. The newlyweds decide to visit the Dakshineshwar Kali Temple to seek blessings of the deity. When inside the temple, Peter Wright goes into a trance and starts hearing a voice. The voice commands Peter to walk along the banks of the River Ganges, cross a mini forest and stop at a side street where vendors sell women’s clothes, jewelry and makeup items. Under the influence of the hypnotic voice, Peter dresses like a woman and sits under a tree for hours until his wife finds him.
The voice persists and seems bent on feminizing Peter. Is it a supernatural force or does it only exist inside Peter’s head?
Peter/Pamela Wright: is the protagonist of the story. He is a 21-year-old British man. He is 5’6, small-boned and has a beautiful face, with dark hair and hazel eyes. Peter marries a woman immediately after his graduation. The newlyweds got to Kolkata for their honeymoon, where Peter starts hearing a voice, which commands him to wear women’s clothes. Eventually, the voice causes the complete feminization of Peter (now Pamela), whose life changes dramatically.
Libby Brown: is Peter’s 21-year-old wife. Libby is 5’9, blonde and big-boned. She is supportive of Peter and doesn’t judge him negatively when she first finds him dressed in women’s clothes. However, Peter’s persistent desire to cross-dress combined with his reluctance to see a psychiatrist drives the two apart. Libby leaves her husband in India and flies away to London.
Biplop (Rontu): is the office boy who works in Kolkata Arts College. He also works as a broker of sorts. Rontu is about 35 years old, swarthy and hefty. He finds Pamela begging in the railway station, feels that she bears a resemblance to Goddess Durga and gets her a job as an artists’ model in the college he works in. When Pamela is in desperate need of money and decides to sell her body, Rontu gets her customers.
Ria Biswas: is a slim, bespectacled psychiatrist in her mid-30s. Dr. Biswas diagnoses Pamela and tells her that the voice that she hears is a figment of her imagination. Dr. Biswas concludes that Pamela is also suffering from Gender Dysphoria and advises her to undergo Hormone Replacement Therapy. Dr. Biswas warns Pamela that HRT could be expensive, yet the latter feels obliged to go ahead with it (due to fear of the voice). Dr. Biswas prescribes estrogen hormones for Pamela and also gives her tranquilizers to reduce the anxiety created by the voice.
Ajoy Mukherjee: is Pamela’s first customer when she begins her career as a sex worker. He is in the 40s, with a dusky complexion and a fit muscular body. Ajoy is a top official in the Mumbai visa office. Ajoy is a gentleman who treats Pamela with respect. When he discovers that Pamela has overstayed on her tourist visa, he helps her out by creating a fake document which states that she is an Indian citizen. Thanks to the kindly Ajoy, Pamela is able to escape consequences like fine, imprisonment and deportation, which she could have incurred because of having overstayed. All Ajoy wants in return is for Pamela to sleep with him whenever he visits Kolkata.
Tapan Das: is in his early 40s, wiry and ruggedly good-looking. He is a famous artist who hails from a wealthy family. When at Kolkata Art College to deliver a lecture on Modern Art, Tapan notices Pamela. He wishes to take her to his home in Santiniketan and paint her. After Tapan finishes the painting, he asks Pamela to stay on with him as his cook. A few months later, he proposes to her and the two get married.
Swarup Banerjee: is in his early 40s, plump and well-dressed. He is an American citizen who is in India on a visit. Swarup studied in the same school as Tapan. When Swarup hears that his friend has become a famous artist, he visits Tapan at his residence in Santiniketan along with his daughter, Dolly. Tapan seems to welcome the reunion with Swarup and is cordial to him and his daughter.
Dolly: is the 8-year-old daughter of Swarup Banerjee’s. She is pink-cheeked and cute as a button. Dolly becomes friendly with Tapan and begins addressing him as “Uncle Tapan”. When at Dakshineshwar Temple, Dolly prefers sitting on the river bank rather than go inside the temple.
Mr. Wright: is Peter’s straight-laced father who loved traveling when he was young. He and his family had lived in various countries including India. When Libby returns to UK without her husband, Mr. Wright is infuriated with Peter. He asks Peter to come back, but the latter refuses. Mr. Wright blocks his credit cards so that his son can’t withdraw any money in India. Mr. Wright does this so that Peter is forced to return to London.
Asutosh: is the science teacher in the same school that Pamela gets a job in. He and Pamela share the same vision—to start a rescue center for sexually abused women, children and transsexuals. The two go ahead to make their vision a reality.