Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ties that bind

Amit Chaudhuri has earned acclaim for his novels about family and belonging. Helena Frith Powell visits him in his home base of Kolkata, the focus of his next work

Amit Chaudhuri does not much like travelling. He finds the day before he is set to leave particularly difficult. “I feel I am neither here nor there,” he says in an interview at the Kolkata home he shares with his wife, 11-year-old daughter and his octogenarian parents. “I am a soul in transit. You would think after 20 or 30 years of travelling it would get better, but it doesn’t.

Chaudhuri, a youthful-looking 47-year-old with a charming, boyish smile, is the author of five novels, all of which have won literary prizes, a musician in the Indian classical tradition and an academic.

He has been based in Kolkata since 1999 after a childhood spent in Bombay (he refuses to call Indian cities by their new names, “Why should I call it Mumbai just because someone says it is called Mumbai? They might change it again next year”) and student years in London.

Full report here National 

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