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Upamanyu Chatterjee Listings

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1 Upamanyu Chatterjee
The Last Burden
Penguin; New Delhi, India; 2006; 0140236252 / 9780140236255; First Edition; Paperback; New; New; 
Upamanyu Chatterjee’s second novel brilliantly recreates life in an average Indian family at the end of the twentieth century. Jamun, the central character, is a young man, unmarried, adrift. He stays away from his family, which comprises his parents, Urmila and Shyamanand, his elder brother, Burfi, his sister-in-law, Joyce, his two nephews and the children’s ayah. Jamun returns to the family when his mother is hospitalized. Once there, he decides to stay on until one of his ailing parent dies. He barely admits to himself that there is another, probably stronger, reason for his extended stay in the family home—an old friend Kasturi, now married and pregnant, who has returned to the city (that she associates with Jamun) . . . Flitting back and forth in time and space, and writing in a language of unsurpassed richness and power, Upamanyu Chatterjee presents a funny, bitterly accurate and vivid portrait of the awesome burden of family ties. Printed Pages: 304. 017686

Price: 6.95 USD
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2 Upamanyu Chatterjee
Weight Loss
Penguin; New Delhi, India; 2006; 0670058629 / 9780670058624; First Edition; Hardcover; New; New; 
‘Between the ages of eighteen and thirty-seven, when he died, Bhola had just eight sexual partners, four women and four males. When he reviewed his life . . . it pleased him that he had maintained a balance between genders in his choice of lovers. Of course, it was ridiculous that he should at the age of thirty-seven be lightheadedly embarrassed about how few were the people he had slept with. Then he . . . reminded himself that that was nothing new, that he had always felt ridiculous, not to worry.’ Weight Loss, Upamanyu Chatterjee’s fourth novel, is only tangentially about losing weight. And though the hero dies tragically young, it is, fundamentally, comic. Bhola, innocent and unremarkable, but for his near crippling obsession with sex and running, fears taking on the burden of emotional commitment and goes through life falling in love with all kinds of inappropriate people. At school, he lusts indiscriminately after his teachers, of both sexes, and is attracted to eunuchs. While in college, far from home, he has vaguely demeaning affairs with his landlady and with a vegetable vendor-cum-nurse and her husband. Later, he marries (a woman who sings with a voice of liquid gold), fathers a daughter (‘a warm, living thing’) and suspects he is close to balance and beauty. Then his past catches up with him. Upamanyu Chatterjee’s genius for black humour and the absurd has never been more compelling than in this unforgettable portrait of a lost life. Printed Pages: 424. 015562

Price: 8.90 USD
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