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Amit Chaudhuri: A Strange and Sublime Address

An interesting if not great first novel about a boy/young man (Sandeep) who travels from Bombay to visit his uncle and his family in Calcutta. There is little plot but simply descriptions by Sandeep of what he sees and hears. However, what Sandeep sees and hears and the way Chaudhuri describes it is magical, for he is enchanted by all that he comes across and Chaudhuri paints a wonderful picture of Sandeep’s experience – from the food he is served to the somewhat quirkish behaviour of his uncle. Even though the adult world is somewhat of a mystery (Sandeep had come to the conclusion that the grown-ups were mad, each after his or her own fashion.), he delves into its mysteries and views it not as bad but merely another source of fascination. And fascinating it is for us, too.

Publishing history

First published in English 1991 by Heinemann
[Note in the US it is part of a collection of three of his novels called Freedom Song]