The 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival welcomes author Kushanava Choudhury.

FGLF 2018 Participant - Author Kushanava Choudhury

Kushanava Choudhury is an Indian American reporter and writer.

After graduating from Princeton University he worked as a reporter for the “Statesman” the leading English newspaper in Calcutta. He went on to receive a PhD in Political Theory from Yale University before returning to Calcutta to write his first book The Epic City: The World on the Streets in Calcutta which was published by Bloomberg in 2017.

FGLF 2018 - Participant Book - The Epic City The World on the Streets of Calcutta

William Dalrymple describes the book as an “observed love letter to Calcutta’s greatness” which is “marks the arrival of a new star.”


Although once the capital of the British Raj, and later India’s industrial and cultural hub, by 2001 Calcutta was clearly past its prime. Kushanava Choudhury’s relatives questioned as to why had he returned? Surely, he could have moved to Delhi, Bombay, or Bangalore, where a new Golden Age of consumption was being born?

Yet fifteen million people still lived in Calcutta. While working for the Statesman, Choudhury found the streets of his childhood unchanged by time. Shouting hawkers still overran the footpaths, fish-sellers squatted on bazaar floors; politics still meant barricades and bus burnings, while Communist ministers traveled in motorcades.

Sifting through the chaos for the stories that never make the papers, Kushanava Choudhury paints a soulful, compelling portrait of the everyday lives that make Calcutta, a city that is a world unto itself.