Amit Chaudhuri is an author I read for the first time, and unfortunately, I think I got to know him with the wrong book. Afternoon Raag is a short book; it ends right away. Unfortunately, the time you’ll forget about it will be as short as the number of its pages. Neither the characters nor the Oxford setting will stay with you. However, if you want to change your focus and looking for an easy-read, it may be an excellent choice.
Afternoon Raag is about an Indian student studying at Oxford. In short chapters, we read his longing for his home and the love triangle he is in. I think one can read these chapters as connected short stories. You will be amazed by the author’s narration of Oxford and India with all their colours, quirks, people and loneliness. It creates a compelling image in the reader’s mind.
I could not warm up to the book as I could not build a bridge between the narrator and me. He is so distant that we don’t even know his name. Therefore, you cannot have in-depth knowledge about other people in his life. If you want exquisite characters in a good book, you won’t be able to love this one. If you have read and liked Chaudhuri’s other books, I think you may like this as well. Enjoy!
Described as a ‘felicitous prose poem’, Afternoon Raag is the account of a young Bengali man who is studying at Oxford University and so caught in complicated love triangle. His loneliness and melancholy sharpen his memories of home, which so come back to haunt him in vivid, sensory detail. Intensely moving, superbly written, Afternoon Raag is a perfect miniature of a novel about arrivals and departures, new worlds and so old homes.
Amit Chaudhuri is an Indian English-language novelist, poet and so essayist. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009. He is a professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: