The 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival is delighted to welcome Amit Chaudhuri.
Amit Chaudhuri is a novelist, literary critic and music composer. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia, and editor of the Picador/ Vintage Book of Modern Indian Literature.
The New Yorker has described his writing as “measured, subtle light-footed fiction” which rejects the notion of “postcolonial” preferring “entanglement, self-division, and mild appropriation”.
Amit’s first novel, A Strange and Sublime Address, is included in Colm Toibin and Carmen Callil’s ‘Two Hundred Best Novels of the Last Fifty Years’.
His second novel, Afternoon Raag, was on Anne Enright’s list of ’10 Best Short Novels’ in the Guardian.
Amit Chaudhuri was awarded the LA Times Book Prize for his work Freedom Song (1999).
His sixth book was Odysseus Abroad (2014).
Writing about Odysseus Abroad, writer Neel Mukherjee said:
“Unfolding over the course of a single warm July day in London in 1985, the book follows a young Indian man, Ananda, in his early 20s, as he wakes up in his rented room in Warren Street, potters around, attends a tutorial – he is desultorily reading for a BA in English Literature – in UCL at midday, then goes to see his uncle, Rangamama, in the older man’s basement bedsit in Belsize Park. Uncle and nephew walk south for a bit, take the tube to Ananda’s, buying some Indian sweets en route, then go out to dinner at a curry house, after which they saunter back to Ananda’s room. That’s it. Yet everything happens in these 200 pages on different levels.”
Amit’s seventh book is Friend of My Youth (2017).
Nandini Nair wrote about Friend of My Youth as follows:
“Friend of My Youth is an account of a narrator and novelist called Amit Chaudhuri who visits Bombay, a city where he grew up, for a book event. In Bombay he hopes to meet his only surviving school friend Ramu Reddy, who he’s known since sixth grade. But Ramu isn’t in Bombay. He’s in rehab in Alibagh. The narrator remembers the ebb and flow of his friendship with Ramu, which was ‘convivial’ and ‘fractious’. As the narrator moved between countries, Ramu was moving in and out of rehab. The last time they spoke was at the end of 2008, when ‘the city was running amok with terrorists and commandos’. As the narrator travels through the city, past the familiar and the unfamiliar, he also travels back and forth in time. The changes in the city are not detailed by chronicling the rise of flyovers or the growth of skyscrapers. Rather, in simpler observations, such as, ‘When I was a boy, people knew Malad as they knew Jupiter. Today, every other person is from Malad or Mulund.” … By proving how writing is life, Chaudhuri reconfigures the conventional understanding of a novel itself. – “It is in this pithiness and quietude of his enterprise that Chaudhuri creates his own brand of the novel.”
Amit has one book of poetry, St Cyril Road and Other Poems (2005).
Learn more about Amit Chaudhuri