EDWARD STANFORD SHORTLIST: The Epic City by Kushanava Choudhury

Review published on January 16, 2018.

By the young age of twelve Kushanava Choudhury had moved back and forwards across the planet four times. A graduate of the prestigious Princeton University and with opportunities galore in his adopted country, the call of his home country and city that his parents had left was too great. So he returned home to the city built between a river and a swamp: Calcutta.

It was a city whose golden age had long passed, once the capital when the British ruled, that had moved to Delhi. Relatives called and tried to persuade him that this was not such a good idea as other cities in India could claim to be up and coming and offer chances and business in the new global economy. He took a position at the Statesman, the leading English newspaper in the city, and relished the chance of living once again in his home city of fifteen million people.

In this city of a swirling mass of humanity, and a place that assaults every sense that you have. It is a personal journey too, partly down his own memories of the city and the family that had been moved over from East Bengal after partition and Choudhury wants to rediscover the places that made him who he is now. In this thriving city, he is seeking those stories that rarely make the papers and certainly not the headlines to add greater breadth to the everyday lives of this city. It is an enjoyable book to read with a fascinating insight into a city that is still thriving coupled together with his personal story as Choudhury rediscovers all that he loves about the chaos of his home city. A minor detail on this too is that the gold blocking on the cover makes this a sumptuous cover to look at.

Paul Cheney 3.5/-

The Epic City by Kushanava Choudhury
Bloomsbury Circus 9781408888889 hbk Aug 2017

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