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The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian
     

The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian

by Nirad C. Chaudhuri, Ian Jack (Introduction)
 

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The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian is an astonishing work of self-discovery and the revelation of a peerless and provocative sensibility. Describing his childhood in the Bengali countryside and his youth in Calcutta—and telling the story of modern India from his own fiercely independent viewpoint—Chaudhuri fashions a book of deep conviction,

Overview

The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian is an astonishing work of self-discovery and the revelation of a peerless and provocative sensibility. Describing his childhood in the Bengali countryside and his youth in Calcutta—and telling the story of modern India from his own fiercely independent viewpoint—Chaudhuri fashions a book of deep conviction, charm, and intimacy that is also a masterpiece of the writer's art.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Intensely rational, Chaudhuri, a Bengali and author of Thy Hand, Great Anarch! , describes his native country with the intent that ``one part of this world may still retain some curiosity about the combination of man and geography which has worn out the British Empire.'' The autobiography yields a dense, absorbing account of Hindu boyhood (he was born in 1897) in a small village in what is now Bangladesh. Careful observations illuminate a waning culture: ``A Hindu . . . accepts the first wail of birth as the leitmotiv of existence and manages . . . to lead a mock-turtle's life during the whole of it.'' Chaudhuri concludes with intricate analyses of the intellectual history of India before independence, seen in the context of its political and social history (from the Dravidians through the Raj); its religion--the ``reformed'' Hinduism of Swami Vivekananda; and Bengali literature. Chaudhuri's judgments, often surprising, are those of a world citizen; his scholarliness is humbling. (Sept. )
Booknews
**** Reprint of Chaudhuri's 1951 edition (Macmillan, London), which is cited in BCL3. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780940322820
Publisher:
New York Review Books
Publication date:
09/28/2001
Series:
NYRB Classics Series
Pages:
560
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.50(d)

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