THE PATNA MANUAL OF STYLE: STORIES

by Siddharth Chowdhury

Category: Fiction

In these nine interlinked stories we meet the not so quintessential Patna man—Hriday Thakur, Literature junkie, aspiring writer, inveterate lover of women and rain; Jishnu da, his acquaintance from Delhi University, who is now an ‘importer of blondes’; Samuel Crown, the fastidious proofreader who mentors Hriday and instils in him an irrevocable love for the art of ‘book-making’; the parade of women in Hriday’s life: austere, doe-eyed Charulata, love
of his youth, the one who got away; Chitrangada, his wife, who works hard to be accepted in his world of books, art, politics and activism; the beautiful Anjali Singh Nalwa, ex-flame who is now a fiery, controversial novelist; Imogen Burns, the intrepid chronicler of graveyards; Sadaf Khan Abdali, who loves the smell of Listerine early in the morning, and ‘Sophia Loren’, dream girl of many schoolboys, now a mother of two.

Unsentimental to a fault, Siddharth Chowdhury’s stories deal with relationships that are intimate and sensuous and sometimes hard to define; taken together, they are an affectionate nod to an idealist generation, insulated in a world of publishing, academia, gin-soaked brunches and Marxist philosophy.

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