Amit Chaudhuri is a novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, editor, singer and music composer. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and is Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia.
James Wood, writing about Chaudhuri in The New Yorker, said, ‘He has beautifully practiced that “refutation of the spectacular” throughout his career, both as a novelist and as a critic. ... Chaudhuri has made the best case for his aesthetic preferences in his own measured, subtle, light-footed fiction. It is rich with hanging vignettes of domestic and urban life; the atmosphere is impressionistic, poetic, softly comic. ... As a literary critic , Amit Chaudhuri has strived to identify and analyze his own kind of postcolonialism—one marked by entanglement, self-division, and mild appropriation, rather than by decisive political opposition or confident theoretical skepticism. ... how little Chaudhuri forces anything on us—there is no obvious plot, no determined design, no faked “conflict” or other drama ... The effect is closer to documentary than to fiction; gentle artifice—selection, pacing, occasional dialogue—hides overt artifice. The author seems to say, Here he is; what do you think? The literary pleasure is a human pleasure, as we slowly encounter this strolling, musing, forceful self.’
Will Self, introducing Chaudhuri at the Hillingdon Literary Festival in October 2016, said, 'This is not work that comfortably sits in the ‘postcolonial thing’ or anything like that. What I think his work represents – and he’s a very fine novelist indeed and an extremely fine essayist and thinker about literature – what his work exemplifies is somebody who views the canon as everything; that there isn’t a form of canonical literature that makes you cleave to one culture or another. There’s a marvellous fragment by Borges called ‘Kafka and his Precursors’, and I think Amit is a writer like that – Amit is a writer who emerges with such force and power in his thought about ‘here’ and ‘there’, about the ‘other’ and what ‘identity’ is, that he creates an affinity between other writers that you weren’t aware of having existed before. So he’s a kind of primus inter pares'.