Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_plcc_6M_fly_beacon David Bowie egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Movember Gifts Under $50 Amazon Gift Card Offer bf15 bf15 bf15 $30 Off Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 Kindle Black Friday Deals Black Friday Video Game Deals Shop Now DOTD

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Freedom Song: Three Novel... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Acceptable
Comment: Fast Shipping - Safe and Secure Bubble Mailer!
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Freedom Song: Three Novels Paperback – February 8, 2000

20 customer reviews

See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$7.95 $0.01

The Mark and the Void by Paul Murray
"The Mark and the Void" by Paul Murray
The Mark and the Void is the funniest novel ever written about the recent financial crisis, and a stirring examination of the deceptions carried out in the names of art and commerce. Learn more | See more from the author
$18.00 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 5 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Freedom Song: Three Novels
  • +
  • Odysseus Abroad: A novel
Total price: $36.00
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more

Editorial Reviews Review

Amit Chaudhuri's first book to be published in the United States comprises three short novels and is a masterpiece of the telling detail--in one paragraph he accomplishes what might take other writers entire volumes. Consider, for example, this description of family life in "A Strange and Sublime Address":
Monday morning came like a fever. Chhotomama would be at the dining-table, eating a rapid meal of dal, fish, and rice, trying to avoid chewing as much of it as possible before he rushed to work. Then he would rush upstairs where a pair of polished black shoes would be waiting for him like a long-promised gift. He would spend five minutes persuading his feet to enter the shoes, or the shoes to swallow his feet.... Over and over again he would shout "I'm late!" in the classic manner of the man crying "Fire!" or "Timber!" or "Eureka!" while Saraswati and Mamima scuttled around him like frightened birds.
The plot of "A Strange and Sublime Address" is slight--a young boy spends his summer with relatives in Calcutta--and consists mainly of a series of episodes strung together. But the characters are so lovingly limned and the places so intimately described that not even a one-way ticket to India could rival Chaudhuri's rendering.

He works similar magic on Oxford and Bombay in the second novel, "Afternoon Raag." Again, the story is almost inconsequential: a young Indian student at Oxford must choose between two women. What's really important here, however, are the character's memories of his music teacher back in Bombay; his mother's morning rituals; his father clipping his fingernails onto an old copy of The Times of India. Likewise, in the third novel, "Freedom Song," plot takes a back seat to the delicate workings of familial relationships as two clans attempt to marry off a "problem" relative. What makes these three short novels so satisfying is the fact that the author's remarkable sensibility is more than matched by his literary skillfulness. For readers in love with language, Freedom Song is the answer to a prayer. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Attended by its watchful, intuitive handmaiden?the laudable Chaudhuri, in his first U.S. publication?the English idiom emerges new-skinned and crying healthily in the humid air and shuttered rooms of Calcutta and Bombay. Collected in one volume, a primer on Chaudhuri's remarkable sui generis prose, these three modern, postcolonial novels poise their characters delicately between the ebb of the future and the flow of the past. This tension is often dramatized by the characters' use of the English tongue. A Strange and Sublime Address (1991) tells of the Bombay-bred Sandeep who aspires to be an English writer and, at 10 years old, already uses such words as "tentative," "gingerly" and "enthusiastic." Morning piles on midday, which builds to evening (or "cow dust" as the Bengali word means literally) as Sandeep spends his school holiday with his poorer and less educated cousins in Calcutta. In their house, and in Chaudhuri's nostalgic gaze, routine is elevated to ritual. The uncle's shaving and the aunts' application of "kumkum powder in the parting of their hair" are sacred arts; the sound of bangles clinking, rattling keys and "dervishing" fans are hymnals in the domestic temple. The North Indian protagonist of Afternoon Raag (1993), like Chaudhuri himself once did, studies English literature at Oxford. Far from home, and deeply immersed in the transporting lines of Lawrence's poems, he remembers vividly scenes from his childhood and the traditional music he played with his now-dead guru. "The raags," he says, "woven together, are a history, a map, a calendar, of northern India..." The simultaneous affairs the narrator carries on with two Indian girls?one skinny and one plump?provide a framework for his recollections and perfume the book with heady dormroom love. The final novel in the trio, Freedom Song, is a work of greater length and complexity than the preceding two; in it Chaudhuri hits the full stride of his mature voice. Dwelling longer on characterization, he examines the intricacies and contradictions of middle-class life in Calcutta through the relationships of one extended family. Bhaskar, a son more thin and dark than his mother wishes him, has compromised his chances of making a good match by joining the Communist Party and a street theater troupe. Bhaskar's Aunt Khuku and her friend Mimi winter out their late years in an intimate conspiracy of shawl-shrouded, tea-drinking gossip and political conversation. What may frustrate readers of the first two novels?that Chaudhuri seems to chronicle events as they occur to him, and pushes the stories to their ends by the thin connectives "one time" and "the next day"?gives way here to a more deliberate plotting that is nonetheless charmingly concerned with the behavior of Calcuttan pigeons and the rain-damp laundry on the line. (Mar.) FYI: A Strange and Sublime Sadness won the 1991 Betty Trask Award and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and Afternoon Raag won two prizes, in Britain.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375704000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375704000
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Not that it will put you to sleep, but rather it will lift you up from your banal surroundings and take you to a place far, far away.. (well, I'm in Harrisburg, PA and Calcutta and Bombay are just magical places- both very far, far away!) How beautifully he narrates the stories derived from his own childhood memories! I loved his writing style, his language, his humor, the characters in all three stories and most importantly his insights. He transforms the most flavorless moments of life into genuinely funny material. I found myself laughing out loud- laughing with Chaudhari and at myself- at many instances. I truly enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to anyone who enjoys good use of language and vivid pictures painted in green and orange and purple and blue and pink and yellow.. you get the point! :)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Pratip Mitra on May 26, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I came across this book in the college bookstore by chance and decided to buy it. I must say it was an extremely good decision. This is one of the most relaxing and beautiful books that I have read so far. Especially the first novel, "A strange and sublime address", was the one which I especially liked. I too, like Chaudhuri, used to live in Bombay and used to visit Calcutta every year during the summer vacations, and reading Chaudhuri was like reliving my own experiences once again. Chaudhuri in all three of these novels has no plot or particular story to tell, but goes on to describe day to day living and experiences. This is what I liked most in his novels. He brings out beautifully the modes of thinking and subtleties in behavoiur peculiar to the culture of the Indian middle class. Reading this book would give anyone a pretty thorough insight into the life of the educated urban indian middle class. In short, if you want to read a book without any melodrama, wherein all you have to do is surrender yourself to its prose and let its narration of seemingly ordinary events weave its magic around you, leaving you thoroughly refreshed in the end, then this set of three novels by Chaudhuri is definitely the one for you. Chaudhuri is excellent and is definitely in league with the other great Indian novelists such as R.K.Narayan who write about India and her life with such mastery and exquisite craftsmanship in the English language.Absolutely enchanting reading.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Barry J. Wythoff on April 6, 2005
Format: Paperback
Chaudhuri has written a rich and earthy rendering of life in India in this work (I enjoyed these two short stories much more than the tale set in England, which to me lacked the energy and humor of the other two).

He uses a beautiful, vibrant and complex fabric of language in rendering his characters and their lives, rather like the traditional "Sari" worn by women of his native land.

While he pokes plenty of fun at the the idosyncracies and the travails of his characters and of the life there, it is without malice, a gentle prodding, that of a fond and familiar friend.

Worthy of the term "literature", definitely recommended!
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Koonu on December 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As someone whose childhood reading included Banaphool and Bibhuti Bandopadhaya(notably Adarsha Hindu Hotel), for me Amit Chaudhury's Freedom Song is another celebration of lyrical prose. I managed to read the British publication of the novel by the same name. As many reviewers have complained,here nothing happens in terms of events, yet everything seems to evolve in to a tapestry of human emotions recollected in tranquil prose. If you like to read Robert Ludlum or Stephen King instead of Chekov or Maupassant then dont waste your time and effort on Freedom Song. For the Indian readers I can say if you are missing Satyajit Ray since his death, here is an ersatz Ray. For the American audience this book can be described as some kind of a Jerry Seinfeldesqe rendition of middle class Calcuttans. Like Seinfeld no subject is a taboo for the writer including the undercurrents of Hindu nationalism surfacing in the Marxist state. However there is a slip showing in the facts narrated in this book. Writer alludes to middle class bengalis from Calcutta going away to Darjeeling and Gopalpur for vacations and pilgrimage respectively(page 51). If he meant Gopalpur in the neighbouring province of Orissa, then he must have meant Puri,with its sea beach and Jagannath temple. As some one hailing from there I can vouch for the bengali tourists flocking to Puri all year round in their Calcutta colors. I could not resist the temptation to include some of my favourite excerpts from the book.: >> But then during the curfew, when shops and offices,and everything else had been closed -ten days of nothing happening-.....It was as if a train they had been on had halted somewhere unexpectedly and they had been forced to take a holiday.Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joydeep Sen Sarma on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
It would not do justice to merely chew and digest this book (to borrow a cliched quote). Rather like a fine moist chocolate cake or cognac perhaps, swirl forever and drench in its vivid flavours. Being son of a Bengali expatriate family myself, AC's narrative about a small boy's summer vacations in Calcutta are not just beatifully picturesque but also remarkably coincident with my own recollections of similar surroundings from many years past. The description of life as a graduate student in a foreign country and of the institution of arranged marriages are similarly revealing. One just hopes that his future novels have a storyline to match his prose.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Freedom Song: Three Novels
This item: Freedom Song: Three Novels
Price: $18.00
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: amit chaudhuri, freedom song, odysseus abroad