Friday, July 13, 2012

Review: The Sly Company of People Who Care by Rahul Bhattacharya

First, a quick background about Indian (specifically Bengali) cinema: The great Indian filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, was from the state of West Bengal and is one of Bengal’s most revered sons and cultural icons. It stands to reason that years after Ray’s death, the incredibly talented Rahul Bhattacharya (a fellow Bengali) would use Ray’s famous bildungsroman, Pather Panchali, as the inspiration for his debut novel.

At its most basic essence, Bhattacharya’s The Sly Company of People Who Care is also a bildungsroman—it traces the growth and coming of age of its protagonist in a country far away from home, Guyana. The protagonist in the novel seems to be modeled after Bhattacharya himself. Like Bhattacharya, the protagonist is a cricket reporter who decides to take an extended yearlong vacation in Guyana. Gooroo, as the protagonist is referred to by others, has “a one year visa—to reinvent one’s living, to escape the deadness of the life one was accustomed to…to be hungry for the world one saw.”

The rest of this review is here.

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