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The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta

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No city on earth offers more conflicting allure than Calcutta. For Kushanava Choudhury, who’s returning to his homeland after graduating from Princeton, culture shock hits hard. Despite a formidably restless population nearing twenty million, Calcutta still has a “sit, have tea and roll with the punches” atmosphere, even in the newspaper world where he delights to find himself each day.

Calcutta was a prominent city for British entrepreneurs and their families well into the 20th century. The present day hurly-burly conceals how its prominence is now diminishing. Choudhury shares a whole new perspective on his return, defying his American friends’ surprise at his decision to head back to India. As a reporter on The Citizen, once the leading newspaper and still commanding a wide circulation, he introduces readers to a personal panorama of the city.

Many stories are human dramas. When the three-year-old son of The Citizen’s elevator operator disappears, panic sets in. Was the little boy abducted for money, a ransom? Surely not for his father’s humble salary. Was the disappearance a prelude to renewed Muslim and Hindu riots? No…the child had wandered off and was in a neighbor’s care. And a new story will be readied for the edition.

Choudhury interviews poets rather than politicians and childhood friends from his earlier years as well as strangers. He writes sparingly, a literary style interspersed with a journalistic streak, a satisfying blend that embraces the reader and makes the noise and squalor of Calcutta almost inviting.

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Reviewed By:
Author:
Kushanava Choudhury
Star Count:
4/5
Format:
Hard
Page Count:
272 pages
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Publish Date:
2018-Jan-09
ISBN:
9781635571561
Amazon:
Issue:
January 2018
Category:
Travel
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Additional information

Publication Date

2018-Jan-09

Format

Hard

Publisher

Bloomsbury USA

Issue

January 2018

Page Count

272 pages

ASIN

1635571561

ISBN

9781635571561

Star Count

4

Book Author

Kushanava Choudhury

“The Epic City: The World on the Streets of Calcutta”

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