BIO

Rajat Chaudhuri (রজত চৌধুরী) is the author of four works of fiction in English -- The Butterfly Effect, Hotel Calcutta, Amber Dusk and Spellcasters (second prize, Gaurang River Prize for Fiction). Chaudhuri (sometimes spelt Rajat Chaudhury) has also written Calculus, a book of stories in Bengali. He is the Editor of The Best Asian Speculative Fiction, a book he also introduced. His next published work  Calcutta Nights was a translated memoir  (Raater Kolkata) about Calcutta written a hundred years ago by acclaimed Bengali author Hemendrakumar Roy. He recently translated and introduced ten poets from India and Bangladesh in the anthology The Great Bengali Poetry Underground published in 2021. Chaudhuri has also co-edited an Asia-Pacific anthology of short stories (co-edited and co-introduced, April 2021) titled Multispecies Cities -- Solarpunk Urban Futures published in the US and another anthology Solarpunk Creatures (co-edited and co-introduced, 2024). His short fiction is featured (YouTube trailer) in the internationally acclaimed cli-fi video game Survive the Century (April 2021) about climate change futures developed by Three Kids in a Trenchcoat and supported by Climate Interactive, USA and SESYNC, University of Maryland with National Science Foundation (USA) support. Survive the Century has been published as a book. Chaudhuri is also a speaker and trainer on climate change futures, teaching climate change and environment in schools, climate fiction and allied issues.

Chaudhuri is a Hawthornden Fellow (2015), Charles Wallace Creative Writing Fellow (administered by British Council, 2014) at the University of Chichester United Kingdom. He was writer-in-residence (2013) at the Toji Cultural Foundation (South Korea) on a fellowship from the Arts Council Korea (ARKO) and InKo Centre. He was a 2010 Resident Writer at the Sangam House International Writer's Residency Programme. Chaudhuri was also invited to the Villa Sarkia Residency (2020) of Nuoren Voiman Liitto, Finland.

Chaudhuri's short story - The Longest Night, won the first prize at the Wordweavers Contest, 2011. Earlier his short story - Watersmoke, about the effects of genetically modified marijuana on the intellect, won a prize in the Scian Short Story Competition 2006. 

He has participated in readings organised by Sahitya Akademi (India's National Academy of Letters) on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore. 

Chaudhuri had been elected climate advocate and civil society representative for developing country NGOs (Southern coordinator of UN CSD NGO Caucus on Energy and Climate Change) at the United Nations (New York) and has been the founder of a civil society group. He had conceived and edited the Southern Initiatives Journal of Sustainable Development.

Chaudhuri is a climate change and sustainability activist and he engages with literature, environment, climate change, sustainability and climate change literature through his column (Eleventh Hour) in New Indian Express and also in Scroll, The Telegraph and elsewhere. 

Chaudhuri is a past contributor to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP, New York), Human Development Report and has published on Climate Change, Water, Environment, sustainability and allied issues (See Bibliography below and Writing section of this website).


He has given book readings, keynotes, lectures, and spoken about writing, ecofiction, climate change fiction, posthhumanities, storytelling and craft, and has received travel and speaking grants or invitations from various national and international organisations/venues like Sahitya Akademi (National Academy of Letters)National Library of India, University of Oxford, UK (2021), Open University, UK (2021), Osmania University (India), Bankura University (India), Dongguk university (South Korea), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Hong Kong), Chichester University (UK), Indiana University (USA), George Washington University (USA), Museum of  Science Fiction (USA), schools, colleges, bookshops and elsewhere. He has judged the short story segment of Asian English Olympics organised by the English Club, BINUS University, Indonesia for three years (2017-2019).


His books are in the collection of several libraries around the world including National Library (India), Library of Congress (USA), Heidelberg University Library (Germany), British Library (UK), Bodleian Library,University of Oxford (UK),  Zentralbibliothek Zurich (Switzerland), University of London, SOAS, University of Iowa, Cornell University Library, Columbia University in the City of New York(USA), New York Public Library (USA), Penn Libraries-University of Pennsylvania (USA), University of Pennsylvania-Van Pelt Library (USA), Parliament Library, New Delhi, Glowinski  Library, Poland (Poland), Niedersächsische Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Göttingen (Germany), University of California, Berkley (USA), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) , Big Sky Library (Thailand), Singapore National Library (Singapore), National Library of Australia (Australia), Leiden University Library (Netherlands)Internet Speculative Fiction Database among others.


Chaudhuri studied Economics at university. He has written fiction, book reviews, op-eds, travel and activist pieces in major Indian dailies and other publications like  The TelegraphTimes of India, New Indian ExpressThe StatesmanOutlookIBNLiveScroll, The Asian Review of BooksAmerican Book Review (Univ of Houston-Victoria)Thresholds (Univ of Chichester)Indo-Asian News Service,MSNNewsTales of AsiaAnandabazar Patrika (Bengali), Daak Bangla (Bengali) and Indian Literature journal (Sahitya Akademi).

His short stories have appeared in international venues like Eclectica (US)Asia Writes, L'Allure des Mots, The Legendary (US)Underground Voices Magazine (US), Notes from the Underground (UK)Weirdyear (US) and Indian web venues and literary magazines like Scian (Scientific Indian)Bhashabandhan (Bengali) and Arambha (Bengali). An excerpt from a novel has been published by Eclectica (US) and another by Caesurae.

As an activist and researcher for Consumer Unity & Trust Society he has published, presented, advocated and organised meetings and workshops to create awareness about the ozone hole and has been involved in a responsible role in a Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported project to control ozone depletion by creating general awareness and popularising ozone and climate friendly refrigeration.


Chaudhuri has made presentations on environment sustainability, climate change, responsible advertising and rights at United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, New York), Northern Alliance for Sustainability (Netherlands), Rio+8 Group (Copenhagen, Denmark), National Library of India and elsewhere. For sometime he had worked on a research project on North-South consumption patterns at Svenska Naturskyddsforeningen (Swedish Society for Nature Conservation), Stockholm, Sweden.


Earlier, he has worked for an international consumer rights group (CUTS), a Japanese Consular Mission and a sustainable agriculture project of the Indian Planning Commission. Currently he runs a popular online creative writing course for the students of an Indonesian university, BINUS University (2017-2018).


Chaudhuri has a deep interest in the precautionary principle and the risks and benefits of application of new technologies. He has Microsoft and LinkedIn certifications on Generative AI and Ethics and Artificial Intelligence.


He lives and writes in Calcutta (Kolkata), India.


Bibliography

  • Amber Dusk (2007) ISBN 978-8184430080

  • Hotel Calcutta (2013) ISBN 9789381523735

  • Calculus (2014) ISBN 9789384002039

  • Green Advertisements – Are they Telling the Truth (co-author) ISBN 8187222425

  • The Butterfly Effect (2018) ISBN 9789386906526

  • The Best Asian Speculative Fiction (Edited and Introduced, 2018) ISBN 9789811185281

  • Calcutta Nights (Translation, 2021) ISBN: 978-9389136456 

  • The Great Bengali Poetry Underground (Translation, Collection and Introduction 2021) ISBN 9789811494963

  • Multispecies Cities -- Solarpunk Urban Futures (Co-edited and Co-introduced, 2021) ISBN 9781734054521

  • Spellcasters (2023) ISBN 978-9391125882

  • Solarpunk Creatures (January 2024, Co-edited and introduced) ISBN 978-1-7340545-7-6


Here is the Rajat Chaudhuri page at the Internet Speculative Fiction (ISFDB) database.


Here is the Rajat Chaudhuri page at Amazon


Here is Rajat Chaudhuri's page at ResearchGate (not updated)


Here is Rajat Chaudhuri's page at Google Scholar (not updated)


For more information about published books and a complete list of other publications, including articles, reviews, essays, please visit the WRITING page and individual BOOK pages from the top menu (or click on the book links within the text of this bio).


For manuscript editing and similar services please go here.


    Reviews of Spellcasters

    Chaudhuri's prose is lucid; unexpected twists inform this part psycho-logical thriller and part climate fiction.' The Telegraph


    Reviews of Multispecies Cities

    Listed in `The Definitive Climate Fiction Reading List’' Grist (US)

    `Joyously ambitious solarpunk ... excels when entwining relational nuance with keenly handled futurist ideas ... number of gems for fans of climate fiction' Publishers Weekly

    `Filled with a polyphony of voices ... Engaging introduction' Leanne Ogasawara, Books on Asia (Japan)


    Reviews of The Great Bengali Poetry Underground

    `Excellent translation ... Hard to find flavour of a culture in ferment' Scroll

    `Translator seems to have masterfully reproduced in English the sting and beat of the original Bengali versions' Indian Literature journal (Sahitya Akademi)

    `What comes across in the translations, from the very beginning, are the poems' distinctive Bengali origin' Daily Star (Bangladesh)

    `Social-existential cares are interwoven with allusions to local or national issues ... will subtly shift our perception as to the currents of Bengali underground poetry' New Indian Express


    Reviews of Calcutta Nights

    `Masterfully translated' The Telegraph

    `Important from the point of view of culture studies' Indian Literature journal

    `Fascinating as a document of the 20th century city'  Trisha Gupta, India Today

    `Flawless translation ... retains racy flavour' Sajni Mukherji, Outlook magazine

    `Translator craftily balances archaic words with new ones, never upsetting the tonal authenticity of a period piece.' Scroll

    `A unique cosmopolitan setting' Business Standard

    `Excellent translation ... a crisp read' Ganesh Saili, New Indian Express

    `A tale of beauty and decadence' South China Morning Post

    `Interesting ... for readers interested in history and the Asian experience of transition to modernity.' Asian Review of Books, Hong Kong

    `A guidebook to the dark dens of eeriness' Press Trust of India (PTI)

    `What a punch this little volume packs' India Abroad News Service of India (IANS)


    Reviews of The Butterfly Effect

    `Propels the accumulated anxieties of a city into a shape-shifting future vortex' Anjana Basu, Outlook magazine 

    `Explores a Ballardian near-future' Amy Brady, Words Without Borders

    `Genre-bending' Amy Brady, Houston Chronicle, USA

    `Projects the tropes of a new politics of imagination ... a new eco-sophy is created'Krishnan Unni. P, Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi 

    `Indian novel's story parallels the deadly coronavirus outbreak' Times of India (news)

    `Compelling' UNI

    `A magic box ... brings Allan Poe to mind' Scroll

    `Ten Works of Environmental Literature from Around the World' Book Riot, USA(listing)

    `A wild ride, with brilliant and Ballardian descriptions' Eco-fiction

    `Vivid storytelling dovetails with a playful structure' Bengaluru Review

    `Fifty Must-Read Novels about Eco-Disaster' Book Riot, USA (listing)

    `Around the World in 80 Books' Dragonfly Ecofiction (listing)


    Reviews of The Best Asian Speculative Fiction

    `A necessary and successful conglomerate' The Telegraph

    `An important contribution to an ever-expanding and dynamic literary form' Southeast Asian Review of English (SARE), Malaysia

    `More than just fantasy' Pune Mirror-Times of India (listing) 

    `South Asian Studies Summer Reading List', Prof Mou Banerjee, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA (listing) 


    Reviews of Hotel Calcutta

    `Sheer power of storytelling' The Telegraph

    `A persuasive artist...Hotel Calcutta invites a hungry, urgent reading' Asian Review of Books

    `A very innovative frame story' Journal of Commonwealth Literature

    `An astounding work that interrogates the myriad surfaces of reality' Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi

    `A dazzling "wall of stories" in Calcutta' The Sunday Guardian

    `Very urban and 21st century' Sanjukta Dasgupta

    `Chaudhuri tells us something also of the 'art' of the story.' Anu Kumar, The Thumb Print Magazine

    `A web both classical and new.' Spark Magazine

    `A writer to watch out for' Sushma Joshi, Kitaab

    `His themes reveal a deep fascination with human response to the extraordinary’ Helter Skelter

    Goodreads


    Reviews of Calculus

    `Might set a new trend in fiction writing' (in Bengali) Ekak Matra

    Reviews of Amber Dusk

    `A heady mix of experiences' The Telegraph  

    `A memorable novel of East-West encounter' Amitava Roy 

    `Another type of writing emerging within Indian English writing' Indian Literature, Sahitya Akademi (JSTOR)

    `Praised for its evocation of Calcutta and Paris' Journal of Commonwealth Literature 

    `Surrealism explored ... A gifted writer of fiction' Deccan Herald  

    `A delicately crafted story about love, loathing and the quest for peace in a time of intolerance' The Statesman  





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