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Sweet Shop: New and Selected Poems

Sweet Shop: New and Selected Poems


by Amit Chaudhuri

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Amit Chaudhuri, one of the most exploratory writers of English-language fiction, has also written and published poetry that shares many of the concerns of his prose while sounding a distinct and memorable note of its own. This book collects the greater portion of that work for the first time, including St Cyril Road (2005), Sweet Shop (2019), Ramanujan (2021), and a selection of new and uncollected poems, as well as translations from Bengali.

Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Poets
ISBN: 9781681377001
Pages: 184
Publication Date:


Chaudhuri is a phenomenon. Among the best novelists writing in English, he is also a singer, an essayist, and a critic. Now comes this selection of poems spanning decades. In his author’s note, he acknowledges a decade-long hiatus from writing poetry, and it’s clear that his style evolved during that time. Whereas the earlier poems are about places in which the poet found the source of his feelings, the later ones record appetites with wonder and skepticism.
—Michael Autrey, Booklist

Throughout the collection, sweets and food are Chaudhuri’s handles to reflect in all manners of contexts and layers, invoking political, cultural, and religious aspects...While this collection offers a journey enlaced with colorful and sensual aesthetics, it is also peopled with mother, father, Ramanujan (the mathematician), Keith Jarrett, Adil Jussawalla and Nissim Ezekiel (the poets), and a few others. His embrace of life includes the canvas of Cambridge, Oxford, and other places, including a tunnel and a cathedral. The scope undertaken by this collection is vast but turns into something universal.
—Yogesh Patel, World Literature Today

Amit Chaudhuri's Sweet Shop, ranging from earliest work to poems just out of the oven, tickles the taste buds with the names of Bengali treats: sandesh, cham cham, petha....Through food, Chaudhuri charts geography, colonial and imperial history, and his own growing up—the sweet shops of Calcutta and the travails of Hindu scholars in England seeking nourishment they can bear (haunted by the ghost of the mathematician Ramanujan, who almost died of starvation in Cambridge). These sensuous poems chant the undersong to Chaudhuri's many novels. There's a Laurentian fullness to this record of a life in song and story.
—Rosanna Warren

Chaudhuri brings a preternatural deftness and imaginative intelligence to his works. His poems are wistful, witty, and winsome.
—Charles Bernstein

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