Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

by Amit Chaudhuri
Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music

by Amit Chaudhuri



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Winner of the James Tait Black Prize for Biography

An autobiographical exploration of the role and meaning of music in our world by one of India's greatest living authors, himself a vocalist and performer.

Amit Chaudhuri, novelist, critic, and essayist, is also a musician, trained in the Indian classical vocal tradition but equally fluent as a guitarist and singer in the American folk music style, who has recorded his experimental compositions extensively and performed around the world. A turning point in his life took place when, as a lonely teenager living in a high-rise in Bombay, far from his family’s native Calcutta, he began, contrary to all his prior inclinations, to study Indian classical music. Finding the Raga chronicles that transformation and how it has continued to affect and transform not only how Chaudhuri listens to and makes music but how he listens to and thinks about the world at large. Offering a highly personal introduction to Indian music, the book is also a meditation on the differences between Indian and Western music and art-making as well as the ways they converge in a modernism that Chaudhuri reframes not as a twentieth-century Western art movement but as a fundamental mode of aesthetic response, at once immemorial and extraterritorial. Finding the Raga combines memoir, practical and cultural criticism, and philosophical reflection with the same individuality and flair that Chaudhuri demonstrates throughout a uniquely wide-ranging, challenging, and enthralling body of work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781681374796
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 03/30/2021
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: eBook
Pages: 272
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of seven novels, including, most recently, Friend of My Youth. Among his other published works are collections of short stories, poetry, and essays, as well as the nonfiction Calcutta and a critical study of D. H. Lawrence’s poetry. He has received the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Betty Trask Award, the Encore Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Sahitya Akademi Award, among other accolades. Chaudhuri is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and holds the titles of Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia in England and Professor of Creative Writing at Ashoka University in India. In addition, he is a singer in the North Indian classical tradition and a composer and performer in a project that brings together the raga, blues, and jazz with a variety of other musical traditions. In 2017 he received the Sangeet Samman from the government of West Bengal for his contribution to Indian classical music.
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