The century-old Hotel Calcutta run by an Englishman, is under threat from land sharks who want to raze it and build a shopping mall. As the staff stare at uncertain times, a monk turns up at the hotel and prophesies that the hotel will still stand only if a wall of stories can be built. Peter Dutta-the manager-though a little unsure, is ready to give it a shot and begins looking for a storyteller. A painter, who has just stepped into the bar, volunteers to tell the first story. Next is Peters turn.
As the storytelling fever catches on, new guests arrive everyday, among them a shifty-eyed producer of porn flicks, an American woman who hears the footsteps of a dead soldier in the corridor and finally an odd pair who pretend to be war historians. It seems they have all arrived there with a purpose. Will their stories protect the hotel or will it crumble under the sledgehammers of the land sharks?
Between techno-angst, deathless love, surreal adventure and an epidemic of thievery, this is a novel that taps into the power of stories to light up our age of trenchant uncertainties and powerful illusions.
About the Author
Rajat Chaudhuri has published several short stories and a critically acclaimed debut novel, set in Calcutta. A past Fellow ofthe Sangam House International Writers Residency, Chaudhuris short fiction has appeared in Eclectica, Underground Voices, Notes from the Underground, L'Allure des Mots and other snake pits of the international literary underground. He has also reviewed fiction for Sahitya Akadem is Indian Literature journal, The Asian Review ofBooks and The Telegraph. One of his short stories was the winning entry of the Word-weavers Fiction Contest, 2011. Before turning to writing full-time, Chaudhuri has been a consumer rights activist,an economic and political affairs officer with a Japanese Mission and a climate change advocate at the United Nations, New York.
Crackling, intelligent and funny!
Journey into many realms.