Chowringhee, first published in Bengali in 1962, is a sprawling saga of the intimate lives of managers, employees and guests at one of Calcutta’s largest hotels, the Shahjahan. Shankar, the newest recruit, recounts the stories of the inhabitants of the suites, restaurants, bars and backrooms of the hotel. As both observer and participant, he tells of the unfulfilled desires, broken dreams, callous manipulations and unbidden tragedies of those who work and live there – the enigmatic manager Marco Polo, the debonair receptionist Sata Bose, and the tragic hostess Karabi Guha, among others. What unfolds is not just the story of individual lives but also the glittering chronicle of a lost metropolis.

About Sankar

Sankar (Mani Sankar Mukherji) is one of Bengal’s most widely read modern novelists. He is also the author of several non-fiction bestsellers, including a biography of Swami Vivekananda. Two of his novels, Seemabaddha (Company Limited) and Jana Aranya (The Middleman) were filmed by Satyajit Ray. He lives in Calcutta.

Price: AUD$22.99. Publisher: ATLANTIC. 416pp. July 2010.

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