Tag Archives: Bengal

Review: Hotel Calcutta by Rajat Chaudhuri

Hotel Calcutta-bookcoverSushma Joshi reviews Hotel Calcutta for Kitaab.org

I specifically wanted to read “Hotel Calcutta” because the book flap description seemed to imply this book was a little out of the ordinary. I was tired of great narratives, tour de forces, award winning books, and writers who epitomized their generation. A heritage hotel that is under threat of demolition, a monk at the bar,  a wall of stories, a producer of porn flicks, a woman who hears dead soldiers in the corridor? Okay, bring it on!

The book was a satisfying read, and yet it wasn’t, all at the same time. While I enjoyed the sheer quirkiness of it—plus the flow of words from the writer who was clearly well versed—I should say, greatly at ease—with the writing traditions of great writers of the hoary past. At the same time, a certain something was missing from the book. If I was his editor, I’d say the writer needed to do a second and a third edit. Yes, perhaps that’s what was missing—a certain soul-analyzing content edit.

To get back to the book: the Hotel Calcutta is under threat of demolition. A monk shows up at a bar and advises Peter Dutta, manager-cum-bartender, a way to fend off the demons. “Keep telling stories,” he says. “Build a wall of stories around Hotel Calcutta and no one will touch it.” Read more

Bengali writer Sunil Gangopadhyay passes away

Prolific Bengali writer and Sahitya Akademi president Sunil Gangopadhyay passed away on Tuesday morning in his Kolkata residence. He was 78-years-old.

He was unwell for the last couple of days and breathed his last in the wee hours of Navami morning bringing an era of Bengali literature to an end.

According to initial reports by Star Ananda, he had been unwell since yesterday but his condition but not critical enough to be hospitalised. He suffered a heart attack at around 2.50 in the morning.

Sunil Gangopadhyay. Wikimedia Commons Image

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