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Saturday, May 14, 2005

The Satirical Mr Chatterjee

Just as one was wondering what had become of Upamanyu Chatterjee, one came across a PTI report (reproduced here) that carried an account of his forthcoming, fouth novel, entitled Weight Loss.

The book features a protagonist named Bhola, who
"falls in love in various stages of his life with various characters, that include his physical education teacher, a male, his class teacher, a female, with a strong interest in an eunuch, a vegetable vendor, one can thus say with the entire world."

Another satire, clearly. One trusts this will be a return to form after The Mammaries of the Welfare State (a.k.a. Agastya Redux) which was, one thought, a case of the author biting off more than he could chew. Brevity, after all, is the soul of satire: Voltaire's Candide was less than 200 pages long, and Swift's A Modest Proposal and A Tale of a Tub about half that.

One will, nevertheless, acquire and read Weight Loss whenever one spots it. Such is the continuing impact of reading English, August during one's impressionable years.


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