The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta (Paperback)Kushanava Choudhury (author)
- 5+ in stock
Everything that could possibly be wrong with a city was wrong with Calcutta
When Kushanava Choudhury arrived in New Jersey at the age of twelve, 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 2001 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 fifteen 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.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 190 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm
'A beautifully observed and even more beautifully written new study of Calcutta. In Kushanava Choudhury, we clearly have an important new talent' - William Dalrymple, The Guardian
'He transmits the self-renewing, infinitely modern energy of the city, which seems everywhere decaying but in fact is always "just beginning"' - Spectator
'Kushanava Choudhury offers a more personal account of what he regards as "the epic city" in this brilliantly eloquent memoir' - Prospect
'Like all good epics, Choudhury's heartfelt and well-observed portrait of the city of his birth promises to stand the test of time' - Literary Review
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