Odysseus Abroad

Pages: 256
Subject: Fiction
Imprint: Oneworld

Odysseus Abroad

Amit Chaudhuri

A brilliant exposition of loneliness, failure and the experience of living as a foreigner abroad in Thatcher's Britain
9781780746982 (5 Feb 2015)
RRP £12.99

The Book

It's 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been a student in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He's homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can't help feeling that there is something romantic about his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh is a magnificent failure and an eccentric virgin who has lived in genteel impoverishment in Hampstead for nearly three decades. 

Over the course of one day, we follow Ananda and Radhesh on one of their weekly forays about town. Weaving back and forth in time, Chaudhuri gradually reveals the background to the two men's lives with deft precision and humour as they walk through London together, circling around their respective pasts and futures, and finding in one another an unspoken solace.

Written in a voice that is tender, wry and unsentimental, ­Odysseus Abroad is a lyrical and modern exploration of loneliness and failure - as well as a love letter to Homer and Joyce - by one of our most celebrated writers.

Additional Information

Subject Fiction
Pages 256
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Amit Chaudhuri is the author of five critically acclaimed novels. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and Professor of Contemporary Literature at the University of East Anglia. He has contributed fiction, poetry and reviews to numerous publications including the Guardian, the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, The New Yorker and Granta. Amit lives in Calcutta and Norwich.


'beautifully drawn...a pleasant read'.

- Tribune

'The story feels quiet and polite but it resonates. Superb.'

- Evening Standard

'Chaudhuri plunders Ulysses and The Odyssey, joyfully borrowing from both iconic Western texts to create something fresh and new.'

- Sunday Herald

'Intelligent and funny'

- London Review of Books

'very funny'

- New Humanist

‘A brilliantly delicate London novel… an absolutely wonderful book'

- The Idler

'Easily followed and lucidly expressed… Amit Chaudhuri is on top form' 

- The Lady

‘A beautifully written novel that weaves in Indian history with a fabulously observed portrait of 1980s migrant London'

- Metro

‘Gentle, restrained'

- Prospect

‘Richly allusive… It is not the novel's plot, but its rhythmic prose, interwoven with musical and poetical references, that most engages… a witty narrative filled with wandering and wondering'

- Observer

‘Chaudhuri is incisive and humorous on the experience of moving from a former colony to Eighties London… Some small details particularly thrill'

- Daily Telegraph

‘very elegant… Amit Chaudhuri is a master of the slow-moving meditation, laced with precise exasperation… very funny… For all the jokes about literature this is a most literary novel. Yet it is witty, effortlessly fluid… a pleasure to read… sustained by a fierce intelligence'

- Irish Times

‘Rhadesh's attempts to assimilate into English culture are funny and he clearly enjoys strange English customs… Like Homer and Joyce, Chaudhuri is good at writing about food' 

- Herald

‘Delightfully witty… luminously intelligent… Odysseus Abroad has placed itself, with erudition and playfulness, on the map of modernism'

- Guardian

‘In the eccentric Radhesh, Chaudhuri gives us something special… a little gem not to be missed'

- Daily Mail

‘A stunningly engaging novel where Naipaul meets Amis and Joyce visits Thatcher's England. Wittingly inventive, deeply moving, it's Chaudhuri's finest work to date.'

- Caryl Phillips

'A superb book, one of Chaudhuri's very best -- full of wit, charm and humanity, and so delicately and intricately written.'

- Ian Jack

‘The stunning, Proustian prose that we have come to expect of Amit Chaudhuri is here in abundance, newly enhanced with surreal comedy and wry, self-mocking, often hilarious sex. Brilliantly he superimposes an intensely Bengali sensibility upon the picaresque experience of a London undergraduate. This is his wittiest and also his most profound book to date.'

- Wendy Doniger

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