Best Amit Chaudhuri books

Odysseus Abroad: A novel

Amit Chaudhuri

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From the widely acclaimed writer, a beguiling new novel, at once wistful and ribald, about a day in the life of two Indian men in London--a university student and his bachelor uncle--each coping in his own way with alienation, solitariness, and the very art of living.

It is 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He's homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can't help feeling that there's something romantic, even poetic, in his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh, a magnificent failure who lives in genteel impoverishment and celibacy, has been in London for nearly three decades. Odysseus Abroad follows them on one of their weekly, familiar forays about town. The narrative surface has the sensual richness that has graced all of Amit Chaudhuri's work. But the great charm and depth of the novel reside in Ananda's far-ranging ruminations (into the triangle between his mother, father, and Radhesh--his mother's brother, his father's best friend; his Sylheti/Bengali ancestry; the ambitions and pressures that rest on his shoulders); in Radhesh's often artfully wielded idiosyncrasies; and in the spiky, needful, sometimes comical, yet ultimately loving connection between the two men.

Freedom Song: Three Novels

Amit Chaudhuri

Best price for this book: $ 8.23

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"An immensely gifted writer....Crammed with breathtaking sentences, sharp characterizations, comic set pieces, and melancholy grace notes." --The New York Times Book Review

Freedom Song--which collects three of Chaudhuri's novels--celebrates the rhythms of modern India. A boy's visit with relatives conjures the melancholy comforts of family. An Indian student at an English university contemplates the conflicted relationship between an immigrant and his homeland. And the task of marrying off a "problem" son illuminates the complex community of cultures that is modern Calcutta.

Chaudhuri's novels offer simple plots that unfold into dramas of profound emotional resonance. And in prose that has won Chaudhuri comparisons to the master stylists of this century but that emerges as fiercely his own, Freedom Song announces a young writer of extraordinary gifts.

Friend of My Youth

CHAUDHURI A

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The Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature

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In recent years American readers have been thrilling to the work of such Indian writers as Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth. Now this extravagant and wonderfully discerning anthology unfurls the full diversity of Indian literature from the 1850s to the present, presenting today’s brightest talents in the company of their distinguished forbearers and likely heirs.

The thirty-eight authors collected by novelist Amit Chaudhuri write not only in English but also in Hindi, Bengali, and Urdu. They include Rabindranath Tagore, arguably the first international literary celebrity, chronicling the wistful relationship between a village postal inspector and a servant girl, and Bibhuti Bhushan Banerjee, represented by an excerpt from his classic novel about an impoverished Bengali childhood, Pather Panchali. Here, too, are selections from Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, R. K. Narayan’s The English Teacher, and Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children alongside a high-spirited nonsense tale, a drily funny account of a pre-Partition Muslim girlhood, and a Bombay policier as gripping as anything by Ed McBain. Never before has so much of the subcontinent’s writing been made available in a single volume.

Calcutta: Two Years in the City

Amit Chaudhuri

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In this vividly drawn and deeply personal portrait, acclaimed novelist Amit Chaudhuri chronicles the two years he spent revisiting Calcutta, the city of his birth.  A mesmerizing narrative, the book takes readers into the heart of a metropolis relatively resistant to the currents of globalization. Moving through the city’s vibrant avenues and derelict alleyways, Chaudhuri introduces us to the homeless and the high society, describes its architecture and food, its sounds and smells, and its past and present politics. With rare candor and clarity, he combines memoir, reportage, and history to evoke all that is most particular and extraordinary about the city—and to explain his own passionate attachment to the place and its people. 

Women in Love (Penguin Classics)

D. H. Lawrence

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Two of D. H. Lawrence's most renowned novels - now with new packages and new introductions

Widely regarded as D. H. Lawrence's greatest novel, Women in Love continues where The Rainbow left off, with the third generation of the Brangwens. Focusing on Ursula Brangwen and her sister Gudrun's relationships-the former with a school inspector and the latter with an industrialist and then a sculptor-Women in Love is a powerful, sexually explicit depiction of the destructiveness of human relations.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature

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This comprehensive anthology of modern Indian writing, covering about a hundred and fifty years, shatters many illusions about the literature of this continent. Translations from Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, and the south sit alongside writing in English, bringing to light the greatest and most engaging writers from India's recent history. With insightful introductions to the writers and their work, this is the most eclectic, enlightening and enthralling anthology of Indian writing to date. `A very lucid and engaging selection that, for the first time, sets the quite extraordinary phenomenon of Indian writing post-1981 in a clear context . . . The real revelation, however, is in the twenty non-English-speaking writers represented here' Charles Allen, Spectator `Chaudhuri is a thoughtful commentator . . . A provocative and persuasive challenge to the orthodoxy about contemporary Indian writing . . . fascinating translations' Robert McCrum, Observer `There is much here to commend . . . The pen-portraits by the editor, placing writers in their context, are excellent . . . One thrills to the sight of writers of sensitivity and refinement' David Robson, Sunday Telegraph `The really valuable thing that Chaudhuri accomplishes . . . is to enable us to frame the question of what an Indian literature - not an object but a horizon - might look like' Alok Rai, Outlook

Raghubir Singh: Modernism on the Ganges

Mia Fineman

Best price for this book: $ 34.02

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Raghubir Singh (1942–1999) was a pioneer of color street photography who worked and published prolifically from the late 1960s until his death in 1999 at age 56.  His vivid, intensely hued photographs capture rural and urban India and iconic depictions of Indian culture though a truly cosmopolitan approach that succeeded in blending East and West.  This richly illustrated volume studies in depth the full breadth of Singh’s work, situating it at the intersection of Western modernism and traditional South Asian modes of picturing the world.  The book showcases 90 of his photographs, including some previously unpublished images, in counterpoint both with the work of his contemporaries and with images of traditional South Asian artworks that inspired his practice.
 

The Essential Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore

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The Essential Tagore showcases the genius of India’s Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel Laureate and possibly the most prolific and diverse serious writer the world has ever known.

Marking the 150th anniversary of Tagore’s birth, this ambitious collection—the largest single volume of his work available in English—attempts to represent his extraordinary achievements in ten genres: poetry, songs, autobiographical works, letters, travel writings, prose, novels, short stories, humorous pieces, and plays. In addition to the newest translations in the modern idiom, it includes a sampling of works originally composed in English, his translations of his own works, three poems omitted from the published version of the English Gitanjali, and examples of his artwork.

Tagore’s writings are notable for their variety and innovation. His Sonar Tari signaled a distinctive turn toward the symbolic in Bengali poetry. “The Lord of Life,” from his collectionChitra, created controversy around his very personal concept of religion. Chokher Bali marked a decisive moment in the history of the Bengali novel because of the way it delved into the minds of men and women. The skits inVyangakautuk mocked upper-class pretensions. Prose pieces such as “The Problem and the Cure” were lauded by nationalists, who also sang Tagore’s patriotic songs.

Translations for this volume were contributed by Tagore specialists and writers of international stature, including Amitav Ghosh, Amit Chaudhuri, and Sunetra Gupta.

Jejuri (New York Review Books Classics)

Arun Kolatkar

Best price for this book: $ 6

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A sequence of stunningly simple but haunting poems, Jejuri is one of the great books of modern India. Jejuri is a site of pilgramage in author Arun Kolatkar's native state of Maharashtra, and Jejuri the poem is the record of a visit to the town -- a place that is as crassly commercial as it is holy, as modern and ruinous as it is ancient and enduring. Evoking the town's crowded streets, many shrines, and mythic history of sages and gods, Kolatkar's poem offers a rich description of India while at the same time performing a complex act of devotion. For the essence of the poem is a spiritual quest, the effort to find the divine trace in a degenerate world. Spare, comic, sorrowful, singing, Jejuri is the work of a writer with a unique and visionary voice.