The eighth edition of the five–day ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival (ZJLF) is all set to kick off with a special curtain raiser in the city. Indian English author-academic and Sahitya Akademi Awardee Amit Chaudhuri will be discussing his latest novel Odysseus Abroad in a conversation with poet, novelist, journalist and DNA India’s editor-in-chief CP Surendran.
Odysseus Abroad tells the story of a day when “nothing happens and everything happens”. With strong influences from James Joyce’s Ulysses and Homer’sOdysseus, Chaudhuri regales the tale of Ananda, a young literature student in London in the mid-eighties, and his impossible uncle Rangamma. Struggling with the shift from an upper middle class Indian lifestyle to one of a commoner, Ananda forms an unlikely bond with his uncle, who lacks basic hygiene and recklessly squanders away his very handsome pension. Chaudhuri has loosely based his characters on the relationship he shares with a maternal uncle, making the book almost autobiographical. A fart and a conversation about a Souza painting in the-80’s with this eccentric uncle led to Odysseus Abroad, says the author.