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Editor Chandrahas Choudhury, with author Vikram Chandra, presents India: A Traveler's Literary Companion ($14.95). The latest book in the acclaimed series of literary travel guides brings
together a delightful sampling of short fiction from one of the world’s
most diverse, multicultural, and storied civilizations. India: A Traveler's Literary Companion features 14 short stories from some of
India’s best writers, collectively offering an insightful portrait of
the beauty and complexity of Indian landscape, culture, and society.
Travel to the Taj Mahal with Kunal Basu, as the humble accountant of his
story becomes, in another incarnation, the architect of one of the
world’s most resplendent monuments. Let Vikram Chandra lead readers by
the hand into the ghettos of Mumbai (Bombay), where a small-time thug
fences some gold bars he has stolen and then decides to find out what
pleasures his money can buy. Journey with Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay’s
silver-tongued salesman of medicated oil as he travels the trains
around Calcutta, the city he loves more than anything else. And Nazir
Mansuri’s Melvillian “The Whale” transports readers to a small fishing
village on the west coast of India, where an embittered sailor makes
every whale he sees the object of his fury. Stories from nine languages
and more than a dozen distinct cultures and regions—from north, south,
east, west, and even from India’s remote northeast—are brought
together in this vibrant collection.
A writer and literary critic, editor Chandrahas Choudhury is the weekly book critic of the Indian newspaper Mint Lounge, as well as numerous U.S. periodicals, including the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Sunday Telegraph, the Scotsman, Himal, and Foreign Policy. He lives in Mumbai.
The author of two of the best works of fiction published in India in the last two decades—Love and Longing in Bombay (1997), and Sacred Games (2006)—Vikram Chandra mines the energy, ambition, squalor, claustrophobia, and polyglot verbal currents of Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India’s most storied city. One of the marvels of Chandra’s writing is how he manages to sound classical and colloquial at the same time, inflecting a dense and lyrical English with the harsher sounds of the language of the street.