Upamanyu Chatterjee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Upamanyu Chatterjee
Patna, Bihar, India
Alma materSt. Xavier's School, Delhi, St. Stephen's College, Delhi

Upamanyu Chatterjee (born 1959) is a retired Indian civil servant who served as Joint Secretary to Government of India on the Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. He is a 1983 batch Indian Administrative Service officer from Maharashtra Cadre. He currently resides in Sri Lanka.[1]

He is an author best known for the novel English, August.

Major works[edit]

Chatterjee has written a handful of short stories. His best-selling novel, English, August : An Indian story (subsequently made into a major film), was published in 1988 and has since been reprinted several times. The novel follows Agastya Sen – a young westernised Indian civil servant whose imagination is dominated by women, literature, and soft drugs. This vivid account of "real India" by the young officer posted to the small provincial town of Madna is "a funny, wryly observed account of Agastya Sen's year in the sticks", as described by a reviewer in The Observer.[1]

His second novel, The Last Burden, appeared in 1993. The Mammaries of the Welfare State was published at the end of 2000 as a sequel to English, August. His fourth novel, Weight Loss, a dark comedy, was published in 2006.[1] His fifth was Way To Go, a sequel to The Last Burden, published in 2010. His most recent work is Fairy Tales at Fifty, was published in 2014.

Dr. Mukul Dikshit opines that Chatterjee has, for the first time, focused on a "new class" of Westernised urban Indians who were hitherto ignored in the regional as well as the English fiction of India.[2]


In 2009, he was awarded Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of his "exemplary contribution to contemporary literature"[3] In 2004, he was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for The Mammaries of the Welfare State.[4] The novel Way To Go was shortlisted for The Hindu Best Fiction Award in 2010.


Name Publisher ISBN Publishing date Notes
English, August : An Indian story Faber & Faber,

Rupa & Co,

NYRB Classics

Hardback: ISBN 0-571-15101-9

Paperback: ISBN 0-14-027811-7

Reprint: ISBN 1-59017-179-9

First published June 1988.

Reprint by NYRB Classics 2006

Hailed as the definitive urban Indian coming-of-age novel
The Last Burden Faber & Faber Hardback: ISBN 0-571-16825-6 16 August 1993
The Mammaries of the Welfare State Viking ISBN 0-670-87934-7 2000 Sequel to English August
Weight Loss Penguin Books India Paperback: ISBN 0-670-05862-9 28 February 2006
Way to Go Penguin Books India Hardback: ISBN 978-0-670-08352-7 15 February 2011 Sequel to The Last Burden


  1. ^ a b c Library of Congress New Delhi Office. "Upamanyu Chatterjee, 1959–". The South Asian Literary Recordings Project. US Library of Congress.
  2. ^ Sharma, Anjana. "What others have to say about Upamanyu Chatterjee". Upamanyu Chatterjee at the complete review. Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Upamanyu Chatterjee Gets French Award Officier Des Arts Et Des Lettres". Retrieved 26 June 2011.
  4. ^ UNI (22 December 2004). "Sahitya Akademi award winners". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 June 2011.

External links[edit]