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A Strange and Sublime Address

A Strange and Sublime Address

by Amit Chaudhuri, foreword by Colm Tóibín

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The April 2024 selection of the NYRB Classics Book Club

Ten-year-old Sandeep lives in a high-rise in Bombay, where his father has an important job that keeps him busy all the time. Come summer, Sandeep and his mother travel to Calcutta to spend time with his aunt, his self-absorbed and improvident uncle, and Abhi, his favorite cousin. His relatives’ house is shadowy and rambling; the vast city around it ramshackle and alluring. They fascinate curious, observant Sandeep. Days pass; the heat grows; the rains come; the visit ends. In the winter, Sandeep and his family return to Calcutta—and encounter an unexpected turn of events. But Sandeep has arrived at a new sense of things, an understanding of how the marvelous inheres in the mundane, that will be his, we feel, for good.

At once delicate and incisive, A Strange and Sublime Address succeeds in both immersing us in a boy’s inner world and depicting that boy and his world from outside. It was Amit Chaudhuri’s first book, the work of a novelist whose striking originality of conception would subsequently become ever more clear. The three decades since the publication of A Strange and Sublime Address have only confirmed its appeal and poetry.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681378084
Pages: 264
Publication Date:


Those who are always rushing toward the 'magical realism' of a Rushdie should read Chaudhuri: here is real magic instead.
—James Wood, The Guardian

I read the book in one sitting and greatly enjoyed it.
—Satyajit Ray

Chaudhuri writes precisely, carefully, trying to capture in rhythms of his prose the faded happiness of things, the strange, pure remembered moments.
—Carmen Callil and Colm Toíbín, The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English Since 1950

To read Chaudhuri is to offer yourself the unmitigated pleasure of being in the company of the absolutely first rate, to see again the possibilities of the novel as an art form.
—Jim Harrison

No lover of literature will fail to love these vivid novels by a master of prose.
—Annie Dillard

Through innovative metaphors and images, he brings the simplest aspects of life—a bath, a drive, an illness—to a new level. —The Boston Review

Sentence by sentence, Amit Chaudhuri is a precise, sensual writer with a great gift for once radiant and revealing.
—Ann Beattie

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