A Masterful And Entirely Fresh Portrait Of Great Hopes And Dashed Dreams In A Mythical City From A Major New Literary Voice Everything That Could Possibly Be Wrong With A City Was Wrong With Calcutta When Kushanava Choudhury Arrived In New Jersey At The Age Of , He Had Already Migrated Halfway Around The World Four Times After Graduating From Princeton, He Moved Back To The World Which His Immigrant Parents Had Abandoned, To A City Built Between A River And A Swamp, Where The Moisture Drenched Air Swarms With Mosquitos After Sundown Once The Capital Of The British Raj, And Then India S Industrial And Cultural Hub, By Calcutta Was Clearly Past Its Prime Why, His Relatives Beseeched Him, Had He Returned Surely, He Could Have Moved To Delhi, Bombay Or Bangalore, Where A New Golden Age Of Consumption Was Being Born Yet Million People Still Lived In Calcutta Working For The Statesman, Its Leading English Newspaper, Kushanava 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 Travelled 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 Written With Humanity, Wit And Insight, The Epic City Is An Unforgettable Portrait Of An Era, And A City Which Is A World Unto Itself


6 thoughts on “The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

  1. gerry lawless gerry lawless says:

    just about ok curate s egg good in parts


  2. adaptations.se Customer adaptations.se Customer says:

    Whilst a nostalgic tale of the Calcutta I remember, it was rather too wordy in parts ie I got bored.


  3. adaptations.se Customer adaptations.se Customer says:

    Warm witty ,well written a page turner rare in nonfiction.


  4. V. K. Borooah V. K. Borooah says:

    Like the curate s egg, this book is good in parts The good parts are those in which he talks about himself, his wife, his family However, this seam is exhausted after a few thousand words Then the periods of ennui begin These involve long discourses on Bengali poets and an idiot s guide to the political life and history of Bengal In brief, this book, which does go on a bit, represents Calcutta s love of adda self regarding and unstructured conversation in print.


  5. AlbertNW AlbertNW says:

    Charming and atmospheric, the book is as much a lament for the end of the newspaper era as for his parents Calcutta Honest personal revelation, but no tidy end to the that part of his story Some interesting political reflections too the analogy between the whites attitudes in colonial Rhodesia and the Hindu bhadralok towards the Bengali peasantry was intriguing But the history lessons are questionable the presentation of the Bengal Famine as a clear cut deliberate act by the British is hardly the balance one would expect from a professional academic, and there is a rather queasy sense that he rather approves of the Naxalite terrorists, without actually saying so cf Neel Mukherjee s Lives of Others on this, though it s quite heavy going The repetition of the no dogs or Indians urban myth is a warning not to take what he sees in the rear view mirror as than a reflection of the prejudices of the author s family s class and milieu, but this doesn t I think detract from the descriptions of Calcutta as it has become and is.


  6. m. dosa m. dosa says:

    for me the return of kushanava could really go un noticed his musings on flat finding,the bemoaning of costa style coffee shops and the dodgy ethics of hiring a servant at 20 a month were all solid middle class american woes.some very interesting bits about books and local politics and food lifted the book but with the visits to psychoanalysts he came across as a spoilt american.