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|Born||15 May 1962 (age 58)|
|Notable awards||Sahitya Akademi Award|
Amit Chaudhuri (born 15 May 1962) is an Indian English-language novelist, poet and essayist. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. He is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia, and since 2020, he also teaches at Ashoka University, India as Professor of Creative Writing. In September 2020, he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of the [Modern Language Association (MLA).
Early and personal life
Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta (renamed Kolkata) in 1962 and grew up in Bombay (renamed Mumbai). His father was Nages Chandra Chaudhuri, the first Indian CEO of Britannia Industries Limited. His mother, Bijoya Chaudhuri, was a highly acclaimed singer of Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, Atul Prasad and Hindi bhajans. He was a student at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay. He took his first degree in English literature from the University College London, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on D. H. Lawrence's poetry at Balliol College, Oxford.
He is married to Rosinka Chaudhuri, Professor of Cultural Studies and Director of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta (CSSSC). She was the inaugural Mellon Professor of the Global South at the University of Oxford, 2017-18. They have one daughter, Aruna.
In response to the marginalisation of the literary by both mainstream publishing houses and by academia, Amit Chaudhuri began, in December 2014, a series of annual symposiums on what he called ‘literary activism’. This brought together writers, academics, and artists each year. One of the features of Chaudhuri's initiative has been a resistance to specialisation, or what he calls ‘professionalisation’. The project has involved the fashioning of a new terminology by Chaudhuri, in which he creates terms like ‘market activism’, and assigns very particular means to words like ‘literary activism’ and ‘deprofessionalisation’.
A collection of essays from the first symposium was published in 2017 by Boiler House Press in the UK, and by OUP in India and the US.
Amit Chaudhuri is a singer in the North Indian classical tradition, who has performed internationally. He learned singing from his mother, Bijoya Chaudhuri, and from the late Pandit Govind Prasad Jaipurwale of the Kunwar Shyam gharana. In the 1990s, he learnt new compositions from Pandit A. Kanan. He has performed worldwide. HMV India (now Saregama) has released two recordings of his singing, and a selection of the khayals he has performed on CD. Bihaan Music brought out a collection called The Art of the Khayal in 2016.
- Puriya Dhanashree
- Jog Bahar Drut
- Meera Bhajan
- Jog Bahar Tarana
- E parabase rabe ke, Rabindra Sangeet
In 2004, he began to conceptualise a project in experimental music, This is Not Fusion, which received critical acclaim upon its inaugural performance in Calcutta on January 15, 2005. His first CD of experimental music, This Is Not Fusion (Times Music), was released in Britain on the independent jazz label, Babel LabelK. His second CD, Found Music, came out in October 2010 in the UK from Babel and was released in India from EMI. It was an allaboutjazz.com Editor's Choice of 2010.
Awards and honours
- 1991 Betty Trask Award and Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book for A Strange and Sublime Address.
- 1994 Encore Award and Southern Arts Literature Prize, Afternoon Raag.
- 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Freedom Song
- 2002 Sahitya Akademi Award, A New World
- 2012 Rabindra Puraskar, On Tagore
- 2012 Infosys Prize for the Humanities in Literary Studies.
- A strange and sublime address. Penguin, 2012, ISBN 978-0-143-41944-0
- Afternoon Raag. Heinemann, 1993, ISBN 978-0-434-12349-0
- Freedom Song. Picador, 1998; Alfred A. Knopf, 1999, ISBN 978-0-375-40427-6 excerpt
- A New World. Picador. 2000. ISBN 978-0-375-41093-2.; Random House Digital, Inc., 2002, ISBN 978-0-375-72480-0
- The Immortals. Picador. 2009. ISBN 978-0-307-27022-1.
- — (2015). Odysseus Abroad. Hamish Hamilton.
- Friend of My Youth, 2017, Penguin Random House India
Collected short stories
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2002). Real time : stories and a reminiscence. Picador.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2005). St. Cyril Road and other poems. Penguin.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2003). D. H. Lawrence and 'difference' : postcoloniality and the poetry of the present. Oxford University Press.
- Small Orange Flags (Seagull, 2003) reviewed
- Clearing A Space: Reflections on India, Literature and Culture. Peter Lang. 2008. ISBN 978-1-906165-01-7.
- Calcutta: Two Years in the City, Union Books (2013)
- Chaudhuri, Amit, ed. (2001). The Picador book of modern Indian literature. Picador.
- Memory's Gold: Writings on Calcutta (2008)
Critical studies and reviews
- Hoskote, Ranjit (6 October 2014). "Homing in on Homer". India Today. 39 (40): 72–73. Review of Odysseus Abroad.
- Wood, James (4 May 2015). "Circling the subject : Amit Chaudhuri's novel Odysseus Abroad". The Critics. Books. The New Yorker. 91 (11): 73–75. Retrieved 3 July 2015.
|Reprint Details||Originally Published|
|A strange and sublime address. Minerva. 1992.||Heinemann, 1991|
- Chaudhuri, Amit (29 July 2001). "Poles of recovery: From Dutt to Chaudhuri". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2 July 2015). "Calcutta's architecture is unique. Its destruction is a disaster for the city". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- "Royal Society of Literature » Amit Chaudhuri". rsliterature.org. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
- "Your Teachers - UEA". uea.ac.uk. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
- "Honorary Members and Fellows". Modern Language Association. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
- Amit Chaudhuri (22 April 2017). "Bijoya Chaudhuri - Eso Nipabane (Tagore)". Retrieved 15 July 2018 – via YouTube.
- "Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta". cssscal.org. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "First ever Global South professor announced | University of Oxford". ox.ac.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- Samhita Chakraborty, 'There's something about a Calcutta childhood' Talking Tales with Amit Chaudhuri, The Telegraph, 19 February 2014. Accessed 30 August 2020.
- "About CAL – C.A.L." Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "March to save architectural heritage". telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "Heritage at a click". telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- "A short walk - a para to remember". telegraphindia.com. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2 July 2015). "Calcutta's architecture is unique. Its destruction is a disaster for the city". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
- Alex Tickell (2002). "Chauduri, Amit". In Alison Donnell (ed.). Companion to Contemporary Black British Culture. Routledge. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-134-70025-7.
- "Amit Chaudhuri | Outlook India Magazine". www.outlookindia.com/. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- "UEA professor Amit Chaudhuri wins £30,000 literary prize - Press Release Archive - UEA". uea.ac.uk. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
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