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CLOUDS

CHANDRAHAS CHOUDHURY (Simon & Schuster)

A novel about disparate cultural identities subsumed by the city of Mumbai

Dr. Farhad Billmoria is fatigued with his life in Mumbai, the city he has called home since birth. As he's waiting to depart to the shores of San Francisco, leaving behind memories of his failed marriage and psychotherapy practice, he crosses paths with Zahra, a luminous Parsi American. In Zahra, Farhad sees the possibility of romantic redemption.

In another part of Mumbai, Rabi a young man belonging to the Cloud people tribe of Odisha and a former village crier waits on Eeja and Ooi, two demanding Danua Brahmins in a one-bedroom apartment. Remembering the tales of the Cloudmaker, the capricious god who occupies the centre of his people's lore, invigorates him even as Rabi occupies a Mumbai very different from that of Farhad.

Clouds is a tale of tribal loyalties complicated by the strong gravitational pull of a megalopolis.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CHANDRAHAS CHOUDHURY

Chandrahas Choudhury was born in 1980 in Hyderabad. His first novel, Arzee the Dwarf, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth First Book Prize. He grew up reading lots of books, in a time when childhood had fewer distractions of an audio-visual kind. At some point a productive jealousy kicked in and he began to want to write them. "Nothing creates a writer as much as his own books. As soon as I had written one, it led me in the direction of another. Slowly you understand that writing books is a great way be to a living, thinking member of your society and you take that thought, that responsibility, that excitement, that anger, and run with it." If not a writer, he would have done good work in cinema or worked as a cricket or football commentator.

In his free time he loves to cook, wander through cities and continents, and play football. His real skill lies in throwing dinner parties for friends, going shopping for them in the day, and meeting all the tradesmen of the neighbourhood. He cannot do without his afternoon naps, which is why he likes to be self-employed. He lives between Delhi, Mumbai, and Bhubaneshwar.

THE 2018 LONGLIST