His first book, A Strange and Sublime Address (1991), a novella and a number of short stories, won the Betty Trask Prize, the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Eurasia Region, Best First Book) and was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. His second novel, Afternoon Raag (1993), won both the Southern Arts Literature Prize and the Encore Award (for best second novel of the year). The novel adopts the metaphor of Indian classical music, the raag, to evoke the complex emotions displayed by the narrator, a young Indian student at
Amit Chaudhuri is currently teaching Creative Writing at the Unversity of East Anglia. He is editor of The Picador Book of Modern Indian Literature, published in 2001. His most recent book is
Amit Chaudhuri's first book, A Strange and Sublime Address (1991), unfolds in Calcutta, as the child protagonist, Sandeep, leaves behind the tranquility of his parents' flat in Bombay and returns, once more, to spend the vacation in Calcutta. Winner of the 1991 Betty Trask Award, the narrative of A Strange and Sublime Address is structured around nine evocative tales. Like so many of his other stories and novels, the text is without major events or upheavals. Nothing much seems to happen. Yet this is one of the strengths of Chaudhuri's writing, which pursues its larger questions indirectly, and through the seemingly insignificant. In a typically outspoken attack on postcolonial writing recently, Chaudhuri despaired that work appearing under this heading 'has become less a critical or imaginative exploration than a political programme, with novelists "writing back" to the Empire that had supposedly formed their recent histories'. Whether or not we agree with Chaudhuri here, it would be difficult to accuse the author's own imaginative explorations of such reductiveness.
His next novel, Afternoon Raag (1993), tells the story of a young English Literature student at