The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

Kushanava Choudhury

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The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta By Kushanava Choudhury The Epic City The World on the Streets of Calcutta A masterful entirely fresh portrait of great hopes and dashed dreams in a mythical city from a new literary voice Everything that could possibly be wrong with a city was wrong with Calcutta When Kush

  • Title: The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta
  • Author: Kushanava Choudhury
  • ISBN: 9789386432575
  • Page: 153
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta By Kushanava Choudhury A masterful, entirely fresh portrait of great hopes and dashed dreams in a mythical city from a new literary voice.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 theA masterful, entirely fresh portrait of great hopes and dashed dreams in a mythical city from a new literary voice.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 region 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 later 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 traveled 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 a city that is a world unto itself.
    The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta By Kushanava Choudhury

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      153 Kushanava Choudhury
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      Posted by:Kushanava Choudhury
      Published :2019-04-10T10:36:28+00:00

    One thought on “The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

    1. Chitra on said:

      Calcutta is a place I haven t visited In fact, except for the great authors it has produced, Satyajit Ray, Durga Pujas and Rasgulla, I know nothing about the place I have recently wanted to visit not for the reasons one might normally want to visit but to see the Durga Pujo celebrations and to visit the amazing used bookstores I have heard about from a friend who lives there When I got the chance to read a book about this city that was once the city of palaces, I grabbed the chance.The book is a [...]

    2. Paul on said:

      By the young age of twelve Kushanava Choudhury had moved back and forwards across the planet four times A graduate of the prestigious Princeton University and with opportunities galore in his adopted country, the call of his home country and city that his parents had left was too great So he returned home to the city built between a river and a swamp Calcutta.It was a city whose golden age had long passed, once the capital when the British ruled, that had moved to Delhi Relatives called and trie [...]

    3. Aritri Chatterjee on said:

      The City of Joy, the city of dreamers and poets, the city that is known for its sweet delicacies and intellectual debates, the city that is now almost dead All that is left of Calcutta or Kolkata is a ghost of a city that refuses to die despite regular murderous attempts by innumerable assassins.Kolkata, then, was one of the richest and prosperous cities in India, with its monumental buildings, wide docks and ports for export and import of high quality goods, artisans and craftsmen, the abundanc [...]

    4. Vikas Singh on said:

      Just another book based on experience called Calcutta There is no newness in the plot and at several places it is a drag Does not give any great reading pleasure.

    5. Bimbabati on said:

      Let s get the bad things out of the way first This book needed some serious editing Random repetitions of previously mentioned incidents Strange typos Ugh Also, the number of times the words decaying , colonial , and spirit were used should have been drastically reduced Having said that, I m a pathetic piece of mush as far as any literature related to Calcutta is concerned, and this book had me mushy within the first few pages Calcutta is weird and infuriating, and so is this book Frankly speaki [...]

    6. Vivek Tejuja on said:

      I have always been fascinated by Calcutta right to its portrayal in movies to books to even theatre and sometimes even TV shows that are genuinely set there Something about that city it has managed to mingle the traditional and the modern so well, that it makes me curious about the thing they do, how they do it and why the culture of Calcutta cannot be spread across one book or one review most certainly not , however The Epic City by Kushanava Choudhury is indeed one of its kind books on the ci [...]

    7. Preyoshi on said:

      I picked up Kushanava Choudhury s debut attempt at the airport last week, attracted by the cover art and promise of tales from my home town What followed was a trip down memory lane accompanied by muffled guffaws which my co passengers on the flight kindly ignored Mr Choudhury brought alive some of the quirks which denizens of Calcutta including yours truly are well known for, and yes he does go beyond the done to death monkey cap references My childhood was spent in the newer South Kolkata, so [...]

    8. Sayantani on said:

      As by heart KOLKATAN, I was in search of a book where I will find my city with its own beauty Kushanava has fulfilled my dream in THE EPIC CITY the writer neither has glorified Kolkata nor has diminished its uniqueness This book is not about any fact or info about the city but the author s own experience of growing up and living in this metropolitan The author has described the city when it was still Calcutta he has skilfully touched all the major aspects He has taken us to the college street bo [...]

    9. Stella on said:

      This book is about migration and longing to return and romanticising the city you are from, and specifically about Calcutta, and the rise and fall of the city It s a wonderful read from the author s point of view, which richly describes the city over the years how it was shaped by the British Empire, their withdrawal, the Partition, the Communists and finally globalisation in relation to his family s experience.The author is educated in the US, graduates from an Ivy League school and decides to [...]

    10. Dipra Lahiri on said:

      A memoir as well as a book on a city, Choudhary captures the dreariness, squalor and decay of Kolkata in the 90 s and 00 s perfectly, with detours going back a few decades to the time of WW2 and Independence, recounting the horrors of Hindu Muslim riots, the great Bengal famine and Partition, and the impact of these events on evolution of the city In the midst of all this gloom, there are splendid uplifting moments such as when he meets groups of unknown poets, and publishers of little magazines [...]

    11. Gina Baratono on said:

      This book was won in a giveaway thank you to the author and publisher The book was very well written and kept my interest I learned some things I would never have known about Calcutta, the people, and their traditions Kushanava Choudhury writes about his time, both as a youngster and as an adult, living between two very distinct and different worlds India and the United States His parents were world travelers, and by the age of 12, he had traveled much than most of us would ever dream of doing [...]

    12. Maggie on said:

      Part memoir, part history of a city, this book takes you on a journey through gulllys and along tramlines, into refugee camps and mansions, eating and adda ing along the way I enjoyed the author s journalistic style, retelling the stories of the variety of people his curiosity, vocation and connections with Calcutta give him access to I was grateful for the careful explanations of the politics and traumas which have shaken Calcutta but noted that he was repetitive and possibly a bit of an edit c [...]

    13. thebookbosomed on said:

      I had been to Calcutta a couple of years ago and the experience was so much like the book Though I didn t see all the places my experience was a lot like it I was there for only 10 days but the essence of the city is still very energetic.Talking about the book, it is a very well written, finely descriptive and full of experience Calcutta for me was always a crowded place where people worked 24 7 in those congested, tumultuous streets But honestly the book tells you it is a lot than that A very [...]

    14. T.P. Williams on said:

      I appreciated the author s very thoughtful and undoubtedly heartfelt ruminations on cultural and racial deracination and the difficulty of living in two worlds However the constant references to his Princeton education, as in I went to Princeton, did I tell you I went to Princeton was annoying Unattractive and self pitying tone to his bewailing his lost youth I would guess the author to be barely out of his twenties He arrogantly shows off his Great Books reading with too frequent references to [...]

    15. Vivek on said:

      If Google Maps shared stories of the streets you navigated, they d use Kushanava s The Epic City for their Kolkata routes Hitting home with nostalgia factor extremely descriptive narrations of the places he visited , he passed by and so on flipping to his past life of childhood, job at Statesman during its heyday or the recent trip, this book is perfect for the homegrown Kolkata boy girl who wants a dose of nostalgia as he traverses through the geography and history of Aamar shonar Kolkata For t [...]

    16. Asha Gopalakrishnan on said:

      Usually books about a city are romantic, idyllic and largely positive This one is different in that it is depressing, and dwells on the fact that Calcutta is a city of the past The author is struggling to get away from the city and all it s troubles, but finds himself drawn back, again and again You need to have lived in Calcutta in order to love this book, and I m glad I lived there A wonderful book, highly recommended to all Bengalis, and other lesser mortals who have had the good fortune to l [...]

    17. Saheli on said:

      Interesting Author spent and studied in US , in the premium institution of the country He went back to the city worked in The Statesman and explored the nook and corner of the old city The city with its colonial legacy, ugly face, inherent culture and dichotomy is painted with a touch of humor and lucid language A travelogue from the person who spend his childhood in the city and the dilemma between the two worlds is nicely narrated in the book.

    18. Nikhil Kumar on said:

      This book is a personal account of Calcutta by a refugee who returns home from New Jersey to find the streets struggling to survive After thirty years of Communist rule, no belief, no superstition, no prejudice, has been wiped out The place, it seems to him, a museum of degradation where there is new construction but little reconstruction.

    19. kapil on said:

      Had author reduced the general history of Kolkata Partition, Naxalbari, etc and his family history irrelevant to the city of Kolkata and had actively interviewed different characters from the city I would have given 5 stars Anyway it s a good book.

    20. Arya Bhattacharyya on said:

      Its a really good book if you want to know about Calcutta and the various forces shaping peoples lives there.Nostalgia is a central part of the theme and if you have lived in Calcutta you tend to understand the book even better.

    21. Mohak Mangal on said:

      I think at its heart the book is for people who live d in Calcutta It is quite evident that the author invested considerable time and emotional energy writing this book And I did connect with the book in some parts but I think someone from Calcutta would draw a lot value from this.

    22. Debamitra Basu on said:

      Quite a dissection of or favourite city captured in an aroma to be savoured in perspection and introspection nice read

    23. Carol Buchter on said:

      Having recently returned from travels in India which included several days in Kolkata, I was interested in this ex pat s descriptions of this mostly indescribable city.

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