Reviews, press, events and ratings below this book intro

CALCUTTA NIGHTS
Translated from the Bengali by Rajat Chaudhuri (রজত চৌধুরী)  
This is the real-life story and memoir of the enigmatic `Meghnad Gupta', pen name of famed Bengali fiction writer Hemendrakumar Roy. Translated into English by Rajat Chaudhuri almost a century after the first publication of Raater Kolkata in 1923, Roy reveals to contemporary readers the darkest secrets of an earlier Calcutta. 

The first two decades of the last century, the backdrop for this book, were politically turbulent times. Those days, Calcutta, the erstwhile capital of British India, was teeming with people from different parts of the country besides Europeans and other foreigners. It was a city of sin, pleasure and suffering. Indians who arrived and settled here mingled with locals, some of them picking up dress, manners and the wanton lifestyles of the Bengali `babu’ while others kept their identities intact. All this created a unique cosmopolitan setting, coloured with shades of debauchery, darkness and crime that this first-hand account brilliantly recounts.

Calcutta Nights is the Hootum Pyanchar Naksha (published in 1862 and penned by Kaliprasanna Sinha) of the early twentieth century a book that will help anyone understand the contrasts and colours of a unique Indian metropolis. 

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Reviews, Excerpts, Events, Listings and more:

Readings with Oxford Bookstores

Review in India Today

Review by Krishnan Unni P. in Indian Literature journal published by Sahitya Akademi (India's National Academy of Letters)

Review in Muse India

Books of the Week feature in Firstpost

Review in New Indian Express 

Review in Outlook magazine

Review in The Telegraph 

Review in Asian Review of Books (Hong Kong)

Review in South China Morning Post

Review in Scroll

Review in Dainik Tribube (in Hindi)

Review in Tehelka (image below)

Recommended for the Week by The News Now

Review in IANS (India Abroad News Service) `Books This Weekend' and carried by Outlook Live and Dainik Bhaskar Online. (Image at the end of this page)

Notice in Millennium Post

Excerpt published in Scroll.in 

Review and report in Business Standard

Interview in Muse India

Excerpt published in The Pioneer 

Report in Outlook magazine

Report in PTI (Press Trust of India)

Mention in New Indian Express

Review by Ayusman Chakraborty in The Criterion: An International Journal in English Vol. 11, Issue-III, June 2020

Notice in Punjab Kesari (Hindi newspaper, image below)

`Calcutta Nights' by Hemendra Kumar Roy, translated by Rajat Chaudhuri, review in South China Morning Post (screenshot)

Excerpt in The Pioneer

Review in IANS (from Bhaskar Live)

Review in Asian Review of Books (link above)

`Calcutta Nights' by Hemendra Kumar Roy, translated by Rajat Chaudhuri, review in South China Morning Post (screenshot)
`Calcutta Nights' by Hemendra Kumar Roy, translated by Rajat Chaudhuri, Notice in Punjab Kesari (Hindi newspaper)

`Calcutta Nights' by Hemendra Kumar Roy, translated by Rajat Chaudhuri, Review-notice in Tehelka

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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