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.
Amit has written four novels. The first, A Strange and
Sublime Address (1991), won the first prize in the Society of
Authors’ Betty Trask Awards for a first novel and the Commonwealth
Writers Prize for Best First Book (Eurasia). The second,
Afternoon Raag (1993), won the Society of Authors’ Encore
Prize for best second novel and the Southern Arts Literature Prize.
Both books were shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction
Prize. The French translation of Afternoon Raag has also
been shortlisted for the Prix de la Société des gens de letters.
Amit’s third novel, Freedom Song, appeared in 1998. All
three of his novels were published in a single omnibus volume,
Freedom Song: Three Novels, by Knopf in America in 1999.
This omnibus volume was a New York Times Notable Book of
the Year, and an Independent bestseller in America; it was
awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award for Fiction 2000,
and was one of the New York Public Library’s 25 Books to Remember,
2000. His fourth novel, A New World, won the Sahitya
Akademi award 2002, India’s highest literary honour for a single
book. His writing has been translated into several languages.
Amit's criticism and fiction have appeared regularly in most of
the major journals in the world, including the London Review of
Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The
Observer, The Spectator, Granta, the New
Republic, and the New Yorker. A short film was made
about him by the BBC for their ‘India Week’ on The
Late Show. He is also the editor of the Picador
Book of Modern Indian Literature. His book of short stories,
Real Time, was published in 2002, while his collection of
essays, In Parenthesis: Essays on Literature and Culture,
is due later. His thesis, DH Lawrence and ‘Difference’:
Postcoloniality and the Poetry of the Present (2003) appeared
to critical acclaim from the Clarendon Press, Oxford, with an
introduction by Tom Paulin..
Amit has been a Fellow at Oxford and Cambridge
Universities, on the faculty at Columbia University, and
was Samuel Fischer Guest Professor of Literature at Freie
University, Berlin. He has given lectures and readings at various
universities and institutions, including the School of
Oriental and African Studies, London, the University of California,
Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, Wellesley College, the University of
Chicago, Penn State University and Emory University.