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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.
I recently finished "Calcutta" by this author. Loved it; so, I wanted to read more by Chaudhuri.
These three short novels paint a picture of middle class life-- not... Read more
Amit Chaudhuri's "Freedom Song" is a collection of three short novels which were first published in Britain as separate volumes: A Strange and Sublime Address, (1991); Afternoon... Read morePublished on May 13, 2010 by C. J. Singh
i read dis book two time, mon, and it be a quiet triumph of post-Proustian delicate psychology and description. de many caesuras give one pause--in all de appropriate places, mon. Read morePublished on January 28, 2008 by Julianne
I picked up this book b/c I enjoy reading about life in other cultures. I agree with the other reviews that his writing is beautiful and descriptive, but there is no real plot. Read morePublished on June 11, 2005 by BookMaven "Amber"
Chaudhuri's prose may be poetic but it is also insidiously sentimental. A saccharin-sweet view of Calcutta that leaves you craving for something more substantial. Read morePublished on April 12, 2002 by A. Bhattacharya
It's poetic, it paints a picture... but it doesn't have much of a plot. How's the for some "p" words? Read morePublished on February 28, 2002 by Abby
While I thouroughly enjoyed the poetic prose of this novel, I was a little perplexed by its seeming lack of plot. Read morePublished on November 5, 2001 by Abby
I have read one of the three novels in this collection separately and I will jot down my thoughts of it here. Read morePublished on February 24, 2001 by Mr. A. Jehangir
What a quietly beautiful book! Everyday stories, from everyday people in India and England. This was the first book that made me want to move to Calcutta and never leave. Read morePublished on August 3, 2000