Amit Chaudhuri - Author

About the Author

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, is a poet, an acclaimed musician, and a highly regarded critic. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. He has contributed fiction, poetry and reviews to numerous publications including the Guardian, London Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, New Yorker and Granta Magazine. Amit lives in Calcutta and Norwich.

 

Author photo © Geoff Pugh

Featured books by Amit Chaudhuri

Other books by Amit Chaudhuri

Friend of My Youth

Friend of My Youth

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/09/2018

In Friend of My Youth, a novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits his childhood home of Bombay. The city, reeling from the impact of the 2008 terrorist attacks, weighs heavily on Amit's mind, as does the unexpected absence of his childhood friend Ramu, a drifting, opaque figure who is Amit's last remaining connection to the city he once called home.

Friend of My Youth

Friend of My Youth

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Hardback Release Date: 24/08/2017

In Friend of My Youth, a novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits his childhood home of Bombay. The city, reeling from the impact of the 2008 terrorist attacks, weighs heavily on his mind, as does the unexpected absence of his childhood friend Ramu, a drifting, opaque figure who is Amit's last remaining connection to the city he once called home. Amit Chaudhuri's new novel is about geographical, historical and personal change. It asks a question we all grapple with in our lives: what does it mean to exist in both the past and the present? It is a striking reminder that, as the Guardian has said, 'Chaudhuri has been pushing away at form, trying to make something new of the novel.'

Friend of My Youth

Friend of My Youth

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 22/08/2017

In Friend of My Youth, a novelist named Amit Chaudhuri visits his childhood home of Bombay. The city, reeling from the impact of the 2008 terrorist attacks, weighs heavily on Amit's mind, as does the unexpected absence of his childhood friend Ramu, a drifting, opaque figure who is Amit's last remaining connection to the city he once called home.

Literary Activism Perspectives

Literary Activism Perspectives

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Hardback Release Date: 29/06/2017

Literary Activism - activism that revisits and interrogates an idea of literature - emerges from a radically altered landscape for both publishing and academia, where market pressures are effecting changes - on language, on the measuring of value, on the concept of influence - we might struggle to recognise. Taking in the roles of writer, critic, translator, academic, and publisher, the essays in this volume follow no single line of enquiry. Rather, they offer the beginnings of an analysis of the literary world at a certain moment of globalisation, while also questioning whether a literary world exists and, if it does, where its boundaries lie. The collection moves in many directions - from Arun Kolatkar and his near-heroic refusal of both marketplace and reputation; to Derek Attridge, who argues for a form of affirmative criticism which positions the critic as a 'lover of the text'; while, from Amsterdam, Dubravka Ugresic reflects on life in a literary 'out of nation zone', adrift in a territory where intellectual protest has been stripped of ideological impetus and subsumed by the voraciousness of the market. Taken together, these essays initiate a series of conversations about who reads what and why, about the practice of writing and criticism at this particular contemporary moment, and about the activities and institutions that shape an understanding of what literature is and what it can do.

Odysseus Abroad

Odysseus Abroad

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 14/10/2015

In this highly acclaimed novel, Amit Chaudhuri tells us the story of one unremarkable July day in 1980s London. Ananda, student of poetry, is lonely, and somewhat fraught, as he grapples with the big questions of literature. His uncle, Radhesh, a bachelor leading an early retired life in a Belsize Park bedsit, is self-involved, eccentric. On this day, they find uncertain companionship as they circle around their past and take stock of their place in the city. Ananda and Radhesh both provide a foil to each other and yet remain apart, as Chaudhuri shows why he is considered his generation s best chronicler of acutely observed life.

Real Time

Real Time

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 02/06/2015

Amit Chaudhuri's stories range across the astonishing face of the modern Indian subcontinent. From divorcees 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.

Strange and Sublime Address

Strange and Sublime Address

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 20/04/2015

A Strange and Sublime Address, Amit Chaudhuris 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.

Real Time

Real Time

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 20/04/2015

In this beautiful collection, Amit Chaudhuri's stories range from a divorcee about to enter into an arranged marraige to a teengaed poet who develops a relationship with a lonely windower, from a singing teacher struggling to make a living out of the boredom of his students to gauche teenager desperate to hurdle past his adolescence. Ripe with subtlety, elegance and deep feeling, this is vintage Chaudhuri.

Real Time

Real Time

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

In this beautiful collection, Amit Chaudhuri's stories range from a divorcee about to enter into an arranged marriage to a teengaed poet who develops a relationship with a lonely widower, from a singing teacher struggling to make a living out of the boredom of his students to gauche teenager desperate to hurdle past his adolescence. Ripe with subtlety, elegance and deep feeling, this is vintage Chaudhuri.

A Strange and Sublime Address

A Strange and Sublime Address

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

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.

New World

New World

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 16/03/2015

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 Bonnywho lives with his mother in Californiathan 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 Jayojits 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.

Freedom Song

Freedom Song

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 16/03/2015

Khuku, a housewife, is irritated with the Muslims because their call to prayer wakes her up early every morning; her husband, a retired businessman, has been hired to cure a 'sick sweet factory that doesn't particularly want to be cured. Across town, Khuku's brother worries about his son's affiliations with the Communist Party, but only because they may affect his ever-so-gradually coalescing marriage prospects. Freedom Song is vintage Amit Chaudhuri, playing with big ideas while evoking the smallest aspects of everyday life with acute tenderness and extraordinary beauty.

A New World

A New World

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2015

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.

Freedom Song

Freedom Song

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2015

Khuku, a housewife, is irritated with the Muslims because their call to prayer wakes her up early every morning; her husband, a retired businessman, has been hired to cure a 'sick' sweet factory that doesn't particularly want to be cured. Across town, Khuku's brother worries about his son's affiliations with the Communist Party, but only because they may affect his ever-so-gradually coalescing marriage prospects. Freedom Song is vintage Amit Chaudhuri, playing with big ideas while evoking the smallest aspects of everyday life with acute tenderness and extraordinary beauty.

Odysseus Abroad

Odysseus Abroad

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 16/02/2015

In the early 1980s, a young Indian boy Ananda comes to London to study English. Hes 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 Anandas 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 movements. A virgin, Rangamama is an eccentric loner a foil to what the young Ananda fears he may become.Over the course of one day, the novel traces the movements of Ananda as he leaves his student lodgings and makes his way up to his uncles house and the diverse events that befall them. A brilliant exposition of loneliness, failure and the experience of living as a foreigner abroad in Thatchers Britain by one of our most internationally acclaimed writers, as well as a love letter to Ulysses, this is a strikingly original, deep and beautiful novel.

Afternoon Raag

Afternoon Raag

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 16/02/2015

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.

Immortals

Immortals

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: eBook Release Date: 16/02/2015

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.

Calcutta Two Years in the City

Calcutta Two Years in the City

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/07/2013

In 1999, Amit Chaudhuri moved back to Calcutta, the city in which he was born. It was a place he had loved in his youth and the place he had made his name writing about. But upon his return he discovered that the Calcutta of his imagination had receded and another had taken its place. Lyrical, observant and profound, Calcutta is a personal account of two years (2009-2011) spent in one of the least known - yet greatest - cities of our time by one of our leading novelists. Using the historic elections of 2011 as a fulcrum, Chaudhuri looks back to the nineteenth century, when the city burst with a new vitality, and towards the twenty-first, when - utterly changed - it seems to be on the verge of another turn. Along the way he evokes all that is most particular and extraordinary. From the homeless and the working class to the old, declining haute bourgeois; from the new malls and hotels to old houses being destroyed by developers; from politicians on their way out to the city's fitful attempts to embrace globalisation, Calcutta brings a multifarious universe to life.

On Tagore Reading the Poet Today

On Tagore Reading the Poet Today

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/11/2012

Infosys Prize for outstanding contribution to the Humanities in Literary Studies Rabindranath Tagore is widely regarded as a romantic poet, speaking of beauty and truth; as a transcendentalist; a believer in the absolute; a propagandist for universal man; and as a national icon. But, as Amit Chaudhuri shows in these remarkable and widely admired essays about the poet and his milieu, his secret concern was really with life, play, and contingency, with the momentary as much as it was with the eternal. It is this strain of unacknowledged modernism, as well as a revolutionary life-affirming vision, that gives his work, Chaudhuri argues, its immense power. Acute, challenging, and path-breaking, Amit Chaudhuri's collection will become a classic reading of Rabindranath Tagore and the way he is perceived today. On Tagore was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar, the West Bengal government's highest literary honour, in 2012 in recognition of the `significance, in the English language, of its critical analysis of Tagore's works'.

Real Time Stories and a Reminiscence

Real Time Stories and a Reminiscence

Author: Amit Chaudhuri Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/11/2003

Amit Chaudhuri's stories range across the astonishing face of the modern Indian subcontinent. From a divorce about to enter into an arranged marriage to a teenaged poet who develops a relationship with a lonely widower, from singing teachers to housewives to white-collar businessmen, Chaudhuri deftly explores the juxtaposition of the old and new worlds in his native India. Here are stories as sweet and humane as they are incisive and revealing. `Brilliant . . . Here, as with Chekhov or Hemingway, the reader not only accepts but relishes the economy, because he or she has already been won over by other deft and graceful aspects of the author's style . . . Against these vivid backgrounds are placed an astonishingly varied galaxy of characters . . . A civilised, not to mention an immensely pleasurable read' Ranjit Bolt, Guardian `Few write as delicately as Chaudhuri, whose characters intertwine their antennae and talk in elliptical low tones, displaying all the while their peculiarly Indian humanity' Philip Glazebrook, Spectator `Mr Chaudhuri limns the trajectory of an entire life in a handful of pages . . . The stories in this volume combine the folk-art charm and easygoing improvisations of R. K. Narayan with the compassion and evocative atmosphere of Chekhov' Michiko Kakutani, New York Times

D. H. Lawrence and 'Difference' Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present

D. H. Lawrence and 'Difference' Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present

Author: Amit Chaudhuri, Tom Paulin Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/06/2003

This important study from the prizewinning novelist and critic Amit Chaudhuri explores D. H. Lawrence's position as a 'foreigner' in the English canon. Focusing on the poetry, Chaudhuri examines how Lawrence's works, and Lawrence himself, have been read, and misread, in terms of their 'difference.' In contrast to the Leavisite project of placing Lawrence in the English 'great tradition,' this study demonstrates how Lawrence's writing brings into question the notion of 'Englishness' itself. It also shows how Lawrence's aesthetic sets him apart radically from both his Modernist contemporaries and his Romantic forbears. The starting-point of this enquiry into Lawrentian 'difference' is, for the purposes of this study, the poetry, its stylistic features, the ways in which it has been read, and, importantly, involves a search for a critical language by which it, and its 'difference', might be addressed. In doing so, it takes recourse to Jacques Derrida's notions of 'grammatalogy' and 'ecriture', and Michel Foucault's notion of 'discourse'. Referring to Lawrence's travel writings about Mexico and Italy, his essays on European and Etruscan art, on Mexican marketplaces and rituals, and American literature, and especially to his poetic manifesto, 'The Poetry of the Present,' this book shows how Lawrence was working towards both a theory and a practice that critique the post-Enlightenment unitary European self. Chaudhuri also, radically, allows his own post-colonial identity to inform his reading of the poetry, and to let the poems enter into a conversation with that identity. This is the first time that Lawrence's poetry has been discussed in this way, in the light of post-colonial and post-structuralist theory; it is also the first time a leading post-colonial writer of his generation has taken as his subject a major canonical English writer, and, through him, remapped the English canon as a site of 'difference.'

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http://amitchaudhuri.com/

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