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Amit Chaudhuri (born 15 May 1962) is a novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, singer and music composer. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. He is a professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
Personal life[edit | hide all | hide | edit source]
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  was a highly acclaimed singer of Rabindra Sangeet, Nazrul Geeti, Atul Prasad and Hindi bhajans. He was a student at the Cathedral and John Connon School, Bombay. He took his first degree in English Literature from the University College London, and wrote his doctoral dissertation on D. H. Lawrence's poetry at Balliol College, Oxford. He is married to Rosinka Chaudhuri, a critic and literary historian, and they have one daughter, Aruna.
Activism[edit | hide | edit source]
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’. This brought 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 means to words like ‘literary activism’ and ‘deprofessionalisation’.
A collection of essays from the first symposium was 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 Kolkata's architectural legacy and campaigning for its conservation.
Music[edit | hide | edit source]
Amit Chaudhuri is a 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 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 a selection of the khayals he has performed on CD. Bihaan Music brought out a collection called The Art of the Khayal in 2016.
- Puriya Dhanashree
- Jog Bahar Drut
- Meera Bhajan
- Jog Bahar Tarana
- E parabase rabe ke, Rabindra Sangeet
In 2004, he began to conceptualise a project in experimental music, This is Not Fusion, which received critical acclaim upon its inaugural performance in Calcutta on January 15, 2005. His first CD of experimental music, This Is Not Fusion (Times Music), was released in Britain on the independent jazz label, Babel LabelK. His second CD, Found Music, came out in October 2010 in the UK from Babel and was released in India from EMI. It was an allaboutjazz.com Editor's Choice of 2010.
Awards and honours[edit | hide | edit source]
- 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.
Novels[edit | hide | edit source]
- 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[edit | hide | edit source]
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2002). Real time : stories and a reminiscence. Picador.
Non-fiction[edit | hide | edit source]
- 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)
Edited Anthologies[edit | hide | edit source]
- Chaudhuri, Amit, ed. (2001). The Picador book of modern Indian literature. Picador.
- Memory's Gold: Writings on Calcutta (2008)
Critical studies and reviews[edit | hide | edit source]
- 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 3 July 2015.
Reprints[edit | hide | edit source]
|Reprint Details||Originally Published|
|A strange and sublime address. Minerva. 1992.||Heinemann, 1991|
Newspaper Articles[edit | hide | edit source]
- Chaudhuri, Amit (29 July 2001). "Poles of recovery: From Dutt to Chaudhuri". The Hindu. Retrieved 31 July 2017.
- Chaudhuri, Amit (2 July 2015). "Calcutta's architecture is unique. Its destruction is a disaster for the city". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 July 2017.