What happens to a highbrow literary culture when its fault lines-along caste, class and gender-are brutally exposed? What happens to the young iconoclasts who dare to speak and write about these issues openly? Is there such a thing as a happy ending for revolutionaries? Or are they doomed to be forever relegated to the footnotes of history? This is the never-before-told true story of the Hungry Generation (or 'the Hungryalists')-a group of barnstorming, anti-establishment poets, writers and artists in Bengal in the 1960s. Braving social boycott, ridicule and arrests, the Hungryalists changed the literary landscape of Bengal (and many South Asian countries) forever. Along the way, they also influenced iconic poets, such as Allen Ginsberg, who struck up a lifelong friendship with the Hungryalists.
Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury is a Bangalore-based poet and writer. She is the author of the poetry collection Benaras: Where Even the Present is Ancient and the non-fiction title Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinema's First Couple, which was nominated for a Crossword Book Award in 2013. She is the poetry and fiction editor of The Bangalore Review, a literary journal. She lives in a house with a family of dogs and poetry.