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Amit Chaudhuri (born May 15, 1962) is a novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, singer and music composer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
James Wood, writing about Chaudhuri in The New Yorker, said, ‘He has beautifully practiced that “refutation of the spectacular” throughout his career, both as a novelist and as a critic. ... Chaudhuri has made the best case for his aesthetic preferences in his own measured, subtle, light-footed fiction. It is rich with hanging vignettes of domestic and urban life; the atmosphere is impressionistic, poetic, softly comic. ... As a literary critic (and, indeed, theorist), Amit Chaudhuri has strived to identify and analyze his own kind of postcolonialism—one marked by entanglement, self-division, and mild appropriation, rather than by decisive political opposition or confident theoretical skepticism. ... how little Chaudhuri forces anything on us—there is no obvious plot, no determined design, no faked “conflict” or other drama ... The effect is closer to documentary than to fiction; gentle artifice—selection, pacing, occasional dialogue—hides overt artifice. The author seems to say, Here he is; what do you think? The literary pleasure is a human pleasure, as we slowly encounter this strolling, musing, forceful self.’
Will Self, introducing Chaudhuri at the Hillingdon Literary Festival in October 2016, said, 'This is not work that comfortably sits in the ‘postcolonial thing’ or anything like that. What I think his work represents – and he’s a very fine novelist indeed and an extremely fine essayist and thinker about literature – what his work exemplifies is somebody who views the canon as everything; that there isn’t a form of canonical literature that makes you cleave to one culture or another. There’s a marvellous fragment by Borges called ‘Kafka and his Precursors’, and I think Amit is a writer like that – Amit is a writer who emerges with such force and power in his thought about ‘here’ and ‘there’, about the ‘other’ and what ‘identity’ is, that he creates an affinity between other writers that you weren’t aware of having existed before. So he’s a kind of primus inter pares'.
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Fiction
- 3 Nonfiction
- 4 Poetry
- 5 Literary Criticism
- 6 Editor
- 7 Activism
- 8 Music
- 9 Quotes
- 10 Lectures and Conversations
- 11 Interviews
- 12 Awards and honours
- 13 Bibliography
- 14 Notes
- 15 External links
Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta in 1962 and grew up in Bombay. His father was Nages Chandra Chaudhuri, the first Indian CEO of Britannia Industries Limited, and his mother, Bijoya Chaudhuri (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqxwLr_p3vo), was a highly acclaimed singer of Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrulgeeti, Atul Prasad and Hindi bhajans. He was a student at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay, took his first degree, in English, from University College London, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on D H Lawrence’s poetry at Balliol College, Oxford. He is married to Rosinka Chaudhuri, critic and literary historian, and they have one daughter, Aruna.
A Strange and Sublime Address, Chaudhuri’s first novel, first published in 1991, was republished in 2016 as a 25th anniversary edition, with a foreword by Colm Toibin, who introduces it thus: ‘In Amit Chaudhuri’s A Strange and Sublime Address, Sandeep is a small boy, an only child who lives in a Bombay high-rise and who, with his parents, makes two long visits to his extended family in Calcutta. The book is the story of the atmosphere in the small house in Calcutta that they visit. Twenty-five years after its initial publication, Chaudhuri’s novel about a young boy’s view of family life and the world around him seems as elegant and exquisite and original as it did on its initial publication. Sandeep watches his relatives, his parents, the servants and the neighbours, alert to everything—sounds, smells, domestic habits, moods, weather, plants. He is vastly amused by tiny details such as his uncle’s car which breaks down, his bustling morning rituals. He spends most of the time, however, with his two cousins and with the women in the family. He notices the women’s clothes and perfumes with relish; he listens to their voices in a way that suggests both a curious child and a budding novelist. He registers what happens precisely and carefully; the rhythms of the book follow the faded happiness of things, the strange remembered moments, but render them as urgent, present, almost pure. ... Chaudhuri handles how things looked and felt and sounded not only with the attention of a born noticer, but also with supreme tact. The drama comes in the phrasing, as though the book had found a melody early on which not only evoked this world of children and family and servants and the city, but represented the essence of things and then transformed them into beauty, much as a painter might, or a singer, but in ways that are oddly rare in prose narrative and all the more sublime for that.’
Afternoon Raag, wrote Karl Miller, ‘interleaves experiences of Oxford – where the narrator conducts a friendship with two Indian girls – and of Bombay, where a beloved mother sips her weak tea, 'watching the lane, in which Christian men in shorts are walking their Alsatians'. It is a meditation, a felicitous prose poem.’ Jonathan Coe, reviewing it for the London Review of Books, wrote, ‘The triumphs of this novel are at once tiny and enormous. Tiny because, like its predecessor A Strange and Sublime Address, it tells only of a placid and uneventful life, a life of domesticity, routine and small daily rituals, in which a ride on a bus or a rendezvous in a café is the closest we are likely to come to adventure; enormous because Chaudhuri has once again turned this unspectacular material into something enchanting, studded with moments of beauty more arresting than anything to be found in a hundred busier and more excitable narratives.’
Freedom Song, his third, was published four years later. Set against the background of the post-Babri Masjid demolition, it is a record of both the artificial quiet that such a socio-political situation creates as well as the evocation of a Calcutta winter where everyday life must go on. Published in America with the first two novels, it won the Los Angeles Times Prize in 1999.
‘The condition of a stranger in a familiar land is dramatized with beguiling simplicity and tact in this deeply moving fourth novel,’ Kirkus Reviews wrote about Chaudhuri’s fourth novel, A New World. ‘Jayojit Chatterjee, exhausted and embittered after a year’s worth of divorce proceedings against his unfaithful wife, takes a vacation as well from his teaching job at a midwestern university, and returns with his seven-year-old son Vikram (“Bonny”—because he “lies over the ocean”?) to Calcutta to visit his aging parents. Everything about this sentimental journey and willed plunge into harmony and amity is destined to fail, or fall short of expectations. Jayojit, an economist, can neither fathom Calcutta’s formless commercialism nor contrive a sound investment strategy for his father “the Admiral” (stricken by heart disease and diabetes and subsisting on a meager pension); his mother’s frantic efforts at cooking nourish neither son nor grandson; and Jayojit (ironically nicknamed “Joy”) supposedly works away at a book, yet a profound inertia settles over him. Thinking of a second marriage, he nevertheless cannot stir himself to try to meet women—and his custody of his beloved son is only temporary (two months a year). But somehow, magically, Chaudhuri makes of this virtually plot-free story a compelling drama of alienation and resignation. Every delicately chosen detail helps build an overwhelming sense of people out of place (once-familiar streets now seem un-navigable mazes), out of time (Bonny plays with plastic dinosaurs and pterodactyls), out of touch. So firmly does Chaudhuri limit Jayojit’s horizons that at the close, as he flies back to America and engages in conversation with a friendly young woman, their brief connection is summarized thus: “[Jayojit] felt not the slightest attraction towards her, and was reassured to sense that she probably felt none towards him.” A pitch-perfect analysis of repressed and stunted emotion, and another triumph to set beside those of Desai, Rushdie, Roy, and especially (the Chekhovian master Chaudhuri most closely resembles) R.K. Narayan.’
Real Time, Chaudhuri’s collection of short fiction, was published in 2002. Ranjit Bolt, reviewing it in The Guardian, wrote, ‘against these vivid visual backgrounds are placed an astonishingly varied galaxy of characters, many of them caught in a more or less difficult, if not sad, existence. The stories are composed consciously in the minor key, without the constant slight undercurrent of gloom ever seeming obsessive, or perverse. It is a life, a world, of repeated disappointment. Thus mastermoshai, the faintly ridiculous would-be literato who rather loftily takes the young poet narrator under his wing in "Portrait of an Artist", ends up selling cooking oil; Gautam is obviously heading for disaster at the school hop in "Four Days"; and Bishu loses his job at the end of "The Man from Khurda District". It is this quiet acceptance of the inevitability of disappointment, and a corresponding quiet refusal on the part of the characters quite to give in to it, that makes Real Time such a civilised collection, not to mention an immensely enjoyable read.’
In The Immortals, his fifth novel, ‘Nirmalya lives in ... (a) luxury apartment thanks to his business executive father, Apurva Sengupta, whose job furnishes the family with chauffeur-driven cars and tea clubs. His mother, Mallika, is a talented singer, but her voice is not of the timbre currently fashionable. Her music teacher, Shyamji, the son of a revered Indian classical musician, shuttles between the worlds of serious and popular music. Soon Nirmalya, too, begins to learn from Shyamji, who becomes his guru. So the stage is set for the story of ambition. Mallika's musical gift is untrammelled by traffic with commerce, and to threaten her family life by pursuing "personal ambition" is unthinkable to her. Nirmalya – who, as it is wryly put, has "recently become aware of the fact that he existed" and is voraciously consuming philosophy – thinks his teacher ought to devote himself seriously to his high calling with no thought of material gain; but Shyamji thinks he can do both, teaching and playing "the lighter forms" now, and retiring to what is serious at some indefinite, ever-receding point in the future. "You cannot practise art on an empty stomach," he complains.’ This is by Steven Poole, in The Guardian, who goes on to write, ‘Amit Chaudhuri, himself a composer and musician, excels in the passages devoted to music, "the miracle of song and its pleasure". The scenes of characters practising in private are subtly thrilling; and there are also more general arguments about the role of music in east and west, in the marketplace and in society. ... The novel's perfectly judged final page performs an analogous return, like the reverberation of a plucked string dissolving gradually into air.’
Neel Mukherjee, writing about Odysseus Abroad, Chaudhuri’s sixth novel, 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.’
Conversation with C P Surendran about Odysseus Abroad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkK1_BESdgE&t=728s
Friend of My Youth, called a 'mini-masterpiece' by the Financial Times, is Chaudhuri's seventh novel. Nandini Nair wrote this about it in Open magazine: '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 commandoes’. 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.’ The novelist Allan Massie, reviewing it for The Scotsman, writes, 'Amit Chaudhuri is a different sort of Indian novelist: cool, elegant, given to understatement and more concerned to examine and present the nature of experience than to soar into wild fancy. It’s no surprise to find that he is an admirer of the novels of Henry Green, terse, economical books in which the realism is poetic, not magic. Of Party Going, one of Green’s best novels, he has written: “it isn’t a novel in the usual sense of the term. It gives a wonderfully comic account of its characters, but it is also an assemblage – of moments, of different kinds of awareness of the world, and even of writing.” I quote this because what he says of Green might equally be said of him. Like Party Going, Friend of My Youth isn’t a novel in the usual sense of the term. There’s no plot, and little drama. Characters are at best lightly sketched. They come, often briefly, and then depart. Ramu, the friend of the title, is missing, except in memory, temporarily confined to a clinic; all his frequent appearances in the novel are in the past tense. In one respect Chaudhuri is very different from Green; Green absents himself from his fiction, while Chaudhuri is at the centre of his here. Yet curiously, the effect is Green-like... Like Green’s novels it offers delight; it shimmers, you seek to catch hold of it, and it slides away'.
Conversation about Friend of My Youth with Anil Dharker: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilZjvGmLwN8
Chaudhuri’s first major work of non-fiction, Calcutta: Two Years in the City, was published in 2013. World Literature Today described it thus: ‘Covering approximately the biennium leading to the historic victory of the Trinamool Congress over the Communist Party of India (Marxist), in the West Bengal assembly election of May 2011, Calcutta: Two Years in the City is a long, elliptical, meandering, and largely enjoyable departure from its alleged inspiration. Had Chaudhuri approached his subject more gravely and with the “sociological rigor [that] is essential when you’re writing of a city,” we would have perhaps a more terse and coherent book, but likely a less fascinating one. Instead, he takes a number of tentatively and suggestively circuitous routes through a city he is twice removed from (having grown up in Bombay and lived most of his adult life in Great Britain) but to which he chose to return in the late 1990s, prompted by the need to look after his aging parents and determined to spend the rest of his life there. ... Calcutta is also a city with its own particular spleen, which Chaudhuri (a reverent if still reluctant denizen rather than a full-fledged, pukka citizen) pursues through a montage of personal memories, domestic scenes, street conversations, parlor interviews, gourmand explorations and divagations, literary references and bits of historical information, and family history. ... The result is a modernist canvas that mirrors the complexity and diversity of the metropolis itself and is in turn mirrored by Chaudhuri’s idiosyncratic style, blending autobiography, literary reportage, and personal essay and punctuated by a Jamesian penchant for the peculiar word (“rebarbative,” “spectatorial,” “studenty”).’
Conversation with Naresh Fernandes about Calcutta: Two Years in the City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHX9fJS9JLg
His second book of essays, Telling Tales, was published in 2013. Deborah Levy, reviewing it in the New Statesman, wrote, ‘Chaudhuri’s intellectual project is not so much to cross academic boundaries as to remove the sign that says: “No playing on the grass”. Like Barthes (and Lacan), he sees merit in concentrating less on the meaningful and more on the apparently meaningless. For this reason I relished every tale and essay here, not least because Chaudhuri subtly politicises the ways in which both writing and writers are culturally placed, described and sanitised.’
St. Cyril Road and Other Poems, Chaudhuri’s only collection of poems till date, was published in 2005. Arvind Krishna Mehrotra, writing about it in Biblio, said, 'St Cyril Road is divided in three sections. The poems in the first section, which includes the ‘Sequence’ quoted above, were all written between 1985 and 1988; the second section consists of poems written around and a little after 1990; and in the last section are poems composed between the late 1990s and 2001. ‘Many of the poems in the last section’, Chaudhuri says, ‘. . . have further widened the gulf, for me, between the self that writes prose and the self that writes poetry.’ Some of my own favourite poems in the book occur in this section. Among them are ‘Memorabilia’, ‘Nissim Ezekiel’ (‘I was seventeen. / I listened only to the precision / of his Bombay accent”), and ‘A Brooklyn Jew in Gaza’. But a poem I found myself returning to most often is ‘The Wasp’. The wasp ‘makes no sound / as it considers the bookshelf’ in which is displayed the ‘collected works of Sharat Chandra, / gold lettering on the spine / such as you will not see these days, / wedding presents’. The poem seizes a moment in the present, a wasp inside a room, to register a moment in the past.' Mehrotra compares Chaudhuri to a painter: 'Chaudhuri’s work parallels the painter’s ... like a painter, he returns to his favourite subjects — a city view, a domestic interior, figures in the verandah —again and again. These subjects, to him, are as inexhaustible as Montagne Sainte-Victoire was to Cézanne, the lily pond to Monet, and Marie Therese to Picasso.'
Amit Chaudhuri’s monograph, D H Lawrence and ‘Difference’ was called a ‘classic’ by Tom Paulin in his preface to the book, and a ‘path-breaking work’ by Terry Eagleton in the London Review of Books.
His book of critical essays, Clearing a Space, was called the ‘best work of criticism by an Indian’ by Caravan magazine, India’s leading journal of the ideas. In 2013, he became the first person to be awarded the Infosys Prize for outstanding contribution to the humanities in Literary Studies, from a jury comprising Amartya Sen, the philosopher Akeel Bilgrami (Columbia University), the critic Homi Bhabha (Harvard), the South Asia scholar Sheldon Pollock (Columbia), former Indian chief justice Leila Seth, and the legal thinker Upendra Baxi (Warwick).
In his congratulatory address, Amartya Sen, Nobel Prize winner and jury chair of the first Infosys Prize for the Humanities, said: ‘He (Chaudhuri) is of course a remarkable intellectual with a great record of literary writing showing a level of sensibility as well as a kind of quiet humanity which is quite rare. It really is quite extraordinary that someone could have had that kind of range that Amit Chaudhuri has in terms of his work and it could be so consistently of the highest quality.’
On Tagore, a collection of Chaudhuri’s essays on Rabindranath Tagore, was awarded the Rabindra Puraskar in 2012. ‘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. 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.’ Pankaj Mishra praised the book, saying, 'Few have written as well as Amit Chaudhuri on Tagore's aesthetics ... in On Tagore'.
Chaudhuri edited the influential anthology, The Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature (2001). Leela Gandhi, reviewing it for The Hindu, wrote, ‘Refusing to indulge the false (and damaging) linguistic hierarchies so apparent in the Rushdie and West anthology, this volume draws our attention, anew, to the symbiotic development of vernacular and English literatures in modern India. If colonial education led directly to the rise of English in this country, it also provoked a concurrent efflorescence within the vernacular languages. So much so, that "many of the greatest and most interesting writers in the vernacular languages were or are students or teachers of English literature". The immediate benefit of this liberating perspective is that it opens up the very culture of Indian secular modernity to a vertiginous variety of voices and views. If the epochal publication of Midnight's Children conferred on modern Indian history, "the air of a fancy dress party ... full of chatter, music, sex, tomfoolery, free drinks and rock and roll", the diverse writers gathered in this collection complicate that vision. For the crisis of modernity also speaks its name, poignantly and eloquently, in Michael Madhusudan Dutt's self-divided cosmopolitanism, in Nirmal Verma's stark European landscapes, in O. V. Vijayan's mystical atheism, and in the Oriya memoirist Fakir Mohan Senapati's struggle against the hegemony of Bengali.’
Chaudhuri has also edited Memory’s Gold: Writings on Calcutta. Anindita Sengupta writes, ‘The writings are laid out in seven thoughtful sections that start with ‘Arrivals, Discoveries’ and wind their way through different stages and ways of loving a city to end with ‘Memory’. It is evident that the book has been put together carefully by someone whose sense of the city is nuanced. This is a balanced anthology: the pleasant, the parochial and the fond are juxtaposed with harder, harsher statements about the city. There is little bias on display. ... What is perhaps most endearing about this collection is that the regular, ‘expected’ big names—Amitabh Ghosh (Shadow Lines), VS Naipaul (Jamshed into Jimmy), and Buddhadeva Bose (‘Adda’, From Tithidore), nestle alongside more unexpected selections like Gunter Grass’s writings which include memories of Subhash Chandra Bose and his opinions on the Indian independence movement and Matthew Sweeney’s poem ‘A Day in Calcutta’ which weaves mangoes and Kali, traffic, cemeteries and cricket into brilliant tapestry. Then there is an extract from Sarnath Banerjee’s delightful graphic novel The Barn Owl’s Wondrous Capers—a treat for the eye and heart. As a tribute to a unique and fascinating city, this collection shines.’
In response to the marginalisation of the literary by both the market (that is, mainstream publishing houses) and by academia, Amit Chaudhuri began, in December 2014, a series of annual symposiums on what he called ‘literary activism’, thereby attempting to a create a space akin neither ‘to the literary festival or the academic conference’, bringing 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 meanings to words like ‘literary activism’ and deprofessionalisation’. Some of his positions are contained in his mission statement (http://ueaindiacreativewritingworkshop.com/symposium-on-literary-activism/), and in his n+1 essay (https://nplusonemag.com/online-only/online-only/the-piazza-and-the-parking-lot/). ‘So there may well be in literary activism a strangeness that echoes the strangeness of the literary. Unlike market activism, whose effect on us depends on a certain randomness which reflects the randomness of the free market, literary activism may be desultory, in that its aims and value aren’t immediately explicable.’ From Amit Chaudhuri’s mission statement for the first symposium on literary activism.
A collection of essays from the first symposium will be published in 2017 by Boiler House Press in the UK, and by OUP in India and the US.
In 2015, Chaudhuri began drawing attention to Calcutta’s architectural legacy and campaigning for its conservation. Writing about these houses made in the twentieth century, he lists their characteristics: ‘These were the house’s features: a porch on the ground floor; red oxidised stone floors; slatted Venetian or French-style windows painted green; round knockers on doors; horizontal wooden bars to lock doors; an open rooftop terrace; a long first-floor verandah with patterned cast-iron railings; intricately worked cornices; and ventilators the size of an open palm, carved as intricate perforations into walls. (Some houses built in the 1940s also incorporate perky art-deco elements: semi-circular balconies; a long, vertical strip comprising glass panes for the stairwell; porthole-shaped windows; and the famous sunrise motif on grilles and gates.) .... What is remarkable, though, is that no two houses are identical: a house with a broad facade might stand next to a thin house, both sharing various characteristics – and there are many other ways in which each house you encounter is a fresh conjuring-up or experiment. This makes for an unprecedented, sui generis variety in a single lane or neighbourhood; a variety I have seen nowhere else (think, in contrast, of the identical Victorian houses on a London street). And the style – which can only be described as Bengali-European – is neither renaissance (hardly any Corinthian pillars, as you might spot in the North Calcutta villas) nor neo-Gothic (as Bombay’s colonial buildings are) nor Indo-Saracenic, which expresses a utopian idea of what a mish-mash of Renaissance, Hindu and Moghul features might be. It’s a style that is, to use Amartya Sen’s word, “eccentric” and beautiful, and entirely the Bengali middle class’s.’
This is what he is campaigning for: ‘The basic aims of our campaign are these: first, to work towards and arrive at a working solution, however improbable this seems; second, to find new ways of looking at, and discussing what’s important about, these houses and neighbourhoods. Although it would appear that the problem needs to be addressed primarily by the heritage commissions in the city, it’s also clear that “heritage”, as a notion and definition, is part of the problem.’
Amit Chaudhuri is a trained and critically acclaimed singer in the North Indian classical tradition. He learned singing from his mother, the well-known exponent of Tagore songs and devotionals, Bijoya Chaudhuri, and, extensively, 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 recently brought out a selection of the khayals he’s sung on CD. Bihaan Music brought out a collection called The Art of the Khayal in 2016.
- Puriya Dhanashree: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/amit-chaudhuri-raga-puriya-dhanashree-drut-excerpt-1989
- Jog Bahar Drut: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/amit-chaudhuri-raga-jog-bahar-excerpt-drut-private-recording-1989
- Meera Bhajan: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/amit-chaudhuri-meera-bhajan-live-bombay-1988
- Jog Bahar Tarana: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/amit-chaudhuri-jog-bahar
- E parabase rabe ke, Rabindra Sangeet: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/e-parabase-rabe-ke-tagore-sung
- Chandrasakhi: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/amit-chaudhuri-bhajan
In 2004, he began to conceptualise a project in experimental music, ‘This is Not Fusion,’ which received great critical acclaim and an overwhelming response from the audience upon its inaugural performance in Calcutta on January 15, 2005. It has established Chaudhuri as one of India’s most internationally acclaimed experimental musicians. His first CD of experimental music, This Is Not Fusion (Times Music), was released in Britain on the award-winning independent jazz label, Babel Label, and got excellent reviews from some of the most considerable music publications in the UK.
This is Not Fusion, Live at the Jaipur Literary Festival, 2010: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKfAp_lPVDg
His second CD, Found Music, came out in October 2010 in the UK from Babel to huge acclaim and extensive coverage, and was released in India from EMI. It was an allaboutjazz.com Editor’s Choice of 2010.
- Berlin: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/berlin-by-amit-chaudhuri-album-this-is-not-fusion
- The Layla Riff to Todi: https://soundcloud.com/interalia100/the-layla-riff-to-todi-by-amit
- Norwegian Wood: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fc3F_aIsl5E
- Saraswati: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyKy9rnHgwg&list=PL_11jsJ-YFYfN9iqP10sdhppEYyFLz68l
- Summertime: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tJyFE9cqTE
- Moral Education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv0XAytSN1Q
- All India Radio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeD4HkZ7lIk
Here is a song that Chaudhuri wrote, composed, and sang when he was eighteen:
- My baby's so cruel:
Lectures and Conversations
- Discussion with Georgina Godwin, Monocle Radio, October 2017:
- Discussion with Kelly Hoppen and Nicky Haslam, Financial Times podcast, October 2017:
- Discussion with Anil Dharker about Friend of My Youth, May 2017:
- At the Hillingdon Literary Festival (introduced by Will Self):
- In conversation with the Indian Express staff at their Ideas Exchange Series:
- At the Edinburgh Literary Festival (in conversation with Neel Mukherjee):
- In conversation with Dayanita Singh:
- Lecture on Deprofessionalisation, KGAF 2016:
- Lecture at Presidency University’s Bicentenary celebrations:
- In conversation with Ananya Vajpeyi:
- In conversation with Upamanyu Chatterjee:
• The White Review: http://www.thewhitereview.org/interviews/interview-with-amit-chaudhuri/
• The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/mar/14/fiction
• Fountain Ink: http://fountainink.in/?p=8775
• Oxonian Review: http://www.oxonianreview.org/wp/the-quiet-rebel/
• The Book Show, ABC Radio National: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/bookshow/amit-chaudhuris-this-is-not-fusion/3216976
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.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (1991). A strange and sublime address. Heinemann.
- 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 2015-07-03.
|Reprint Details||Originally Published|
|A strange and sublime address. Minerva. 1992.||Heinemann, 1991|
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2001-07-29). "Poles of recovery: From Dutt to Chaudhuri". The Hindu. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2015-07-02). "Calcutta's architecture is unique. Its destruction is a disaster for the city". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-07-31.
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