Offers an exploration of what it means to be a modern Indian in relation to the West. This work features essays about Indian popular culture and high culture, travel and location in Paris, Bombay, Dublin, Calcutta and Berlin, empire and nationalism, Indian and Western cinema, music, art and literature, politics, race, and cosmopolitanism.
In the early 1980s, a young Indian boy – Ananda – comes to London to study English. He’s shy and sensitive; he wants to become a famous poet. In London, among his white-faced fellow British students, Ananda feels out of place. Terminally lonely, he reads, he wanders the streets, he tries to adjust to being an outsider. Also in London is Ananda’s uncle, a debonair, anorexic bachelor in his sixties whose childhood genius and potential has been dashed and deflated. Having been made redundant from his job, Rangamama lives in a bedsit in Hampstead, hording plastic bags from Bugdens, endlessly torturing himself with thoughts about a promotion he never received and obsessing about his bowel...
Amit Chaudhuri's stories range across the astonishing face of the modern Indian subcontinent. From divorcées about to enter into an arranged marriage to the teenaged poet who develops a relationship with a lonely widower, from singing teachers to housewives to white-collar businessmen, Real Time deftly explores the juxtaposition of the new and old worlds in his native India. Here are stories as sweet and ironic as they are deft and revealing.
The award-winning author Amit Chaudhuri has been widely praised for the beauty and subtle power of his writing and for the ways in which he makes “place” as complex a character as his men and women. Now he brings these gifts to a spellbinding amalgam of memoir, reportage, and history in this intimate, luminous portrait of Calcutta. Chaudhuri guides us through the city where he was born, the home he loved as a child, the setting of his acclaimed novels—a place he now finds captivating for all the ways it has, and, perhaps more powerfully, has not, changed. He shows us a city relatively untouched by the currents of globalization but possessed of a “self-renewing way of seeing, of inhab...
A Strange and Sublime Address, Amit Chaudhuri’s first book, features a Bengali boy who spends his school holidays at his uncle's home in Calcutta. Heatwaves, thunderstorms, mealtimes, prayer-sessions, shopping expeditions and family visits create a shifting background to the shaping of people's lives. Delicate, nuanced, full of exquisite detail, A Strange and Sublime Address is a small masterpiece. The book also includes nine short stories about the city.
Shyamji has music in his blood, for his father was the acclaimed 'heavenly singer' and guru, Ram Lal. But Shyam Lal is not his father, and knows he never will be. Mallika Sengupta's voice could have made her famous, but being the wife of a successful businessman is a full-time occupation in itself. Mallika's son, Nirmalya, believes in suffering for his art, and for him, all compromise is failure: those with talent should be true to that talent. No matter what. Written in haunting, melodic prose, The Immortals tells the story of Shyam, Mallika and Nirmalya: their relationships, their lives, their music.
Described as a ‘felicitous prose poem’, Afternoon Raag is the account of a young Bengali man who is studying at Oxford University and caught in complicated love triangle. His loneliness and melancholy sharpen his memories of home, which come back to haunt him in vivid, sensory detail. Intensely moving, superbly written, Afternoon Raag is a perfect miniature of a novel about arrivals and departures, new worlds and old homes.
DIV Spanning a writing career of over twenty years, acclaimed novelist and author of Calcutta: Two Years in the City, Amit Chaudhuri, is also one of the most gifted essayists and critics writing today, whose work has appeared in the pages of many of the most prestigious newspapers and journals in the world, including The London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, Granta, the Guardian, and the Dublin Review. Collected here for the first time, Mere Writing is a selection of Chaudhuri’s most enduring short non-fiction that showcases his sense of humour, his idiosyncratic capacity to transform the mundane, his political engagement, and his mastery of words. From playing ‘Cowboys and Indians’ as a child in India to an outsider’s perspective on the British class system to a plane that was hijacked by Pakistani men and taken to Afghanistan at the turn of the millennium to the works of V. S Naipaul and to the humble Indian savoury, the chanachur, these essays display Chaudhuri’s ability to find meaning in every aspect of the physical and intellectual world and will consolidate his reputation as one of most original and elegant writers publishing in English today. /div
A year after his divorce, Jayojit Chatterjee, an economics professor in the American Midwest, travels home to Calcutta with his young son, Bonny, to spend the summer holidays with his parents. Jayojit is no more accustomed to spending time alone with Bonny–who lives with his mother in California–than he is with the Admiral and his wife, whose daily rhythms have become so synchronized as to become completely foreign to their son. Together, the unlikely foursome struggles to pass the protracted hours of summer, each in his or her own way mourning Jayojit’s failed marriage. Written with depth and tenderness, A New World goes right to the heart of a family, making vividly alive their hopes, desires and regrets.