My Country Is Literature: Adventures In The Reading Life – Chandrahas Choudhury


2 in stock

SKU: 9789392099106 Categories: , , Tags: , , ,


In his early twenties, the novelist Chandrahas Choudhury found himself in the position of most young people who want to write: impractical, hard-up, ill at ease in the world. Like most people who love to read, his most radiant hours were inside the pages of a book. Seeking to combine his love of writing with his love of reading, he became an adept of a trade that is mainly transacted lying down—that is, he became a book reviewer.

Pleasure, independence, aesthetic rapture, even a modest livelihood: all these were the rewards of being a worker bee of literature, ingesting the output of the publishers of the world in great quantities and trying to explain in the pages of newspapers and magazines exactly what makes a book leave a mark on the soul.  Even as Choudhury’s own novels began to be published, he continued to write about other writers’ books: his contemporaries at home and abroad, the great Indian writers of the past, the relationship of the reading life —in particular, the novel—to selfhood and democracy, all the ways in which literature sings the truths of the human heart.

My Country Is Literature brings together the best of his literary criticism: a long train of perceptive essays on writers as diverse as VS Naipaul and Orhan Pamuk, Gandhi and Nehru, Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay and Jhumpa Lahiri. The book also contains an introductory essay describing Choudhury’s book-saturated years as a young writer in Mumbai, the joys and sorrows and stratagems of the book reviewer’s trade, and the ways in which literature is made as much by readers as by writers.

Delightfully punctuated with 15 portraits of writers by the artist Golak Khandual, My Country Is Literature is essential reading for everyone who believes that books are the most beautiful things in life.

About the Author

Chandrahas Choudhary is the author of the novels Arzee the Dwarf (2009), Clouds (2018) and Days of My China Dragon (2019), all set in Mumbai. He is also the editor of the anthology India: A Traveller’s Literary Companion (2010). A graduate of Hindu College, Delhi University, and Trinity College, Cambridge, he is also a Fellow of the International Writing Program of the University of Iowa, and now a writing mentor at the IWP’s Summer Institute program.

Golak Khandual is a painter based in Delhi. Also a trained architect, he designs and builds with the goal of ‘not wasting either a blade of grass or a grain of sand.’ He has worked in many other realms, including as a make-up artist and set designer for films like Electric Moon and In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones. Over the last two decades, he has been involved in large rewilding projects such as Rao Jodha Desert Rock Park in Jodhpur and Kishan Bagh in Jaipur.


There are no reviews yet.

Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.