A New World: A Novel
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A New World: A Novel

3.08 of 5 stars 3.08  ·  rating details  ·  80 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A year after his divorce, Jayojit Chatterjee, an economics professor in the American Midwest, travels to his native Calcutta with his young son, Bonny, to spend the summer holidays with his parents. Jayojit is no more accustomed to spending time alone with Bonny–who lives with his mother in California–than he is with the Admiral and his wife, whose daily rhythms have becom...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published December 18th 2007 by Vintage (first published January 1st 200)
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174th out of 186 books — 187 voters

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Kulpreet Yadav
Not everyone can capture the slice of Calcutta so well. The narrative is intense, choice of words simple yet sharp, making the characters lively. It also has a surprising pace, which makes the book addictive, almost irresistible. Consequently, this book can’t be put away unfinished, easily.

The story has a stickiness too, an immediacy of loss, or acceptance, that is central to all our lives, regardless of race, religion, or the part of the world we inhabit—and contrary to what stickiness might co...more
Tanuj Solanki
A book that is perhaps as challenging to review - and by review I mean judge - as it was to write. Chaudhari's restraint is stifling at times; his minimalist narrator divulges little; and the reader, while understanding the rationale of the repose of the novel, invariably ends up asking for a little let-go. But apart from the fettering of the narrator, there is something more structural that one may also decipher and unequivocally cede to the writer: the dexterity of design inherent in the incep...more
Shishir Chaudhary
Oh Calcutta! I go weak in my knees whenever I pick up a book on the dilapidating city of erstwhile grandeur. This Sahitya Akademi Award winner tells the story of a man living in USA, who after getting divorced comes to visit his parents in Calcutta and then goes back. Or goes to Calcutta and comes back. And nothing major happens in between this coming and going. But what we are shown is an understated and subtle vision of a small Bengali family. Chaudhuri's charm is in the depiction of daily cho...more
Jayojit Chatterjee arrives in Calcutta on holiday with his seven year old son Bonny after a divorce. He stays with his parents, a retired Admiral and a housewife. Thus ensues two months of bonding between mother and son, mother and grandson, father and grandson etc. The thing to be treasured in this book is Chaudhuri’s delicately nuanced descriptions of dislocation and the disorientation that comes with the adoption of a new (Western) nation while still held by memories set in another India. As...more
Chaudhuri deftly portrays new worlds converging as a family rebuilds itselfand Calcutta gingerly enters globalization. With his tight prose andcinematic approach to writing, Chaudhuri depicts three generations of theChatterjee family grappling with the aftermath of divorce and adjustingto retirement. Jayojit, returning to India to heal the wounds of anacrimonious custody battle, dreamily plods through his vacation with hisson to visit his aging parents. Like the ex-wife left behind, the UnitedSt...more
Sorry, this book just did not work for me...though the author's voice was lucid, the book meanders into nothing.....thoroughly disappointed. I am not one to put too much emphasis on plot points in a tale. Character development and a sense of connect with the reader is of vital importance though. I have LOVED books where pretty much nothing happens, which is a true reflection of the daily mundane life...where pretty much nothing happens. But the beauty lies in the details, which was completely mi...more
Sairam Krishnan
Did not work for me one bit. Tried my best to find something I could appreciate in the 200 pages but no, I did not see the point in anything at all.

This being the author's first book I read, it wasn't a happy initiation. The book meanders around details and does not tie them to any meaning; it was like going on a road trip inside your own house.

I think I understand what Chaudhuri was trying to do here - a portrait of Bengali family life sounds like something I want to read, but the unconvincing...more
Minimal descriptions with powerful eye for detail. Tells the story of a recently divorced father and his son traveling to India for the summer to stay with his parents. The divorce was a crushing blow for all and much of the story (and the writing) largely relies on the tension of what is left unsaid.
This is nothing more than a story about a privileged man whining about his first world problems. This literature loving Bengali is pretty disappointed.
Sasha Strader
Very disappointed in this book. I don't much care for the "personal reflections" style.
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Amit Chaudhuri was born in Calcutta in 1962, and grew up in Bombay. He read English at University College, London, where he took his BA with First Class Honours, and completed his doctorate on critical theory and the poetry of D.H. Lawrence at Balliol College, Oxford, where he was a Dervorguilla Scholar. He was Creative Arts Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, from 1992-95, and Leverhulme Special R...more
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