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The South Asian Literary Recordings Project


Upamanyu Chatterjee, 1959-


Image of Upamanyu Chatterjee, 1959- (photo credit: Gaurav Sharma)

Select page numbers to listen or LCCN to display the bibliographic record.


  1. English, August : an Indian story. London : Faber and Faber, 1988. (LCCN: 90906860. LC has different edition).
    MP3 excerpt: pp. 10-16
  2. The last burden.
    London : Faber and Faber, 1993.
    (LCCN: 93907185. LC has different edition).
    MP3 excerpt: pp. 237-244

Upamanyu Chatterjee, born in 1959 at Patna, Bihar, is one of the new talented Indian writers of the contemporary generation. After studying English literature at Delhi University, he joined the Indian Administrative Service in 1983. In 1990, he lived as Writer in Residence, at the University of Kent, U.K. In 1998, he was appointed Director (Languages) in the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India.

Chatterjee has written a handful of short stories including The assassination of Indira Gandhi. His best-selling novel, English, August : An Indian story (subsequently made into a major film), was published in 1988 and has since been reprinted several times. A review in Punch described the book as "Beautifully written � English, August is a marvelously intelligent and entertaining novel, and especially for anyone curious about modern India". The novel follows Agastya Sen a young westernized Indian civil servant whose imagination is dominated by women, literature and soft drugs. This vivid account of "real India" by the young officer posted to the small provincial town of Madna is "a funny, wryly observed account of Agastya Sen's year in the sticks", as described by a reviewer in the Observer.

His second novel, The last burden, appeared in 1993. This novel recreates life in an Indian family at the end of the twentieth century. It is a fascinating portrayal of the Indian middle class. Mammaries of the welfare state was published at the end of 2000 as a sequel to English, August.

The Library of Congress has acquired all three of his books.

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January 11, 2016
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