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Dirty Love

Dirty Love books

Sampurna’s newest book Dirty Love is out from Penguin

About which Mustansir Dalvi writes in TimeOut Mumbai:

‘Sampurna Chattarji inhales her city in like a deep toke off an unfiltered Charminar. Her exhalations, equally unfiltered, are the short stories in her new collection Dirty Love. While other authors, from Salman Rushdie to Jeet Thayil, may prefer to project their urban perceptions into myth, Chattarji positions herself in the city as it is today. There is neither the benefit of hindsight, nor any studied objectivity. This is Bombay, “das Ding an sich” – the object in itself, which makes Dirty Love a brave and compelling enterprise.’

Read the full review here

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Rimi B. Chatterjee writes in Kindle Magazine:

‘In her relish for the demonic and the twisted that lies just under the surface of modern Indian life, Chattarji is like a small electric Roald Dahl in sanganeri kurtas. The twin sisters Bombay-Mumbai are her muses, and she oscillates between them with a brisk no-nonsense bustling love.’

Read the full review here

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Lindsay Pereira writes in the Mid-Day:

‘“My memory is paper,” says the protagonist of Sampurna Chattarji’s story ‘My Revenge on the Beast.’ The statement is, in a sense, key to helping us understand the aim of this, her new collection of tales. In the same character’s words: “When I am on Juhu Beach I remember Beach Boy [acclaimed novel by Ardashir Vakil], when I say ‘chawl’ I remember [Kiran Nagarkar’s] Ravan and Eddie, when I think ‘dance bar’ I remember [Suketu Mehta’s] Maximum City….”

Chattarji’s stories continue this tradition, of attempting to commit to memory the essence of a city. She does a great job of it too, bringing the keen eye of a poet and particular talent as a translator to bear on her muse, Bombay. One can almost picture her sitting quietly at a crowded corner, chronicling personal histories as millions get on with their daily business of living.’

Read the full review here

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Anupama Raju writes in The Hindu:

‘The 29 stories in this collection take you on a spiralling ride through strange smells, faces, voices across the city’s vastness spread like dust, accompanied by Chattarji’s talent for words. Bandra, Colaba, Juhu, Versova – the different neighbourhoods that sound like “darling” in a classical language – resound through voices of lonely inhabitants. They are the voyeurs, lovers, observers of their own strangeness, travellers, vagabonds, the imaginative and the imagined.’

Read the full review here

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Poet, editor and short-fiction writer Janice Pariat in The Sunday Guardian:

Language is pliable and clay-like in her hands, and she treats it as a familiar lover, dismissive yet tender, manipulating it to lie exactly as she wishes on paper. […] The stories in Dirty Love also carry a distinct poetic sensibility — like Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis, this too could only have been written by a poet whose words brim with ambiguity. In his Advice to Young Poets, Don Paterson reminds us that “poems make us look again at the familiar by making it strange.” Chattarji repeatedly conjures for us characters, places and situations that are commonplace and extraordinary all at once.’

Read the full review here

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Extracts from the Biblio review (VOL. XIX  NOS. 5 & 6 MAY – JUNE 2013):

The stories in Dirty Love are set in Bombay/ Mumbai (the dichotomy of the relationship between these two doppelgangers exquisitely presented here). But the city is not just a setting where the plot points slowly unravel. Neither is it a character lurking in the background ready to take you by surprise. The city is front and centre, demanding that its stories be told and heard. …  In the story ‘Which One?’, a character is perturbed by the symbolism of awarding someone the key to a city. ‘… as if a city were a safe-deposit box or a door or a locker”. And perhaps it is. And in Dirty Love, Sampurna Chattarji has given us a key that could unlock the city of Bombay.

The full review can be read here: Review of Dirty Love in BIBLIO May-June 2013

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The Northeast Review on Dirty Love:

‘In unforgiving conditions, Chattarji humanises love without any grandness and glory. Even if dirty, love, finally, is the only means of becoming and the only way to restore humanity.’

Read the full review here

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The Sunday DNA introduces the book, thus:

‘There is a dark and dirty side to Mumbai. In the seething underbelly of the city, opportunity, strife, depression, and hunger enslave people, refusing to let go. Sampurna Chattarji sifts through this and returns with stories that are primal in their rawness.’

Read the full review here

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Copies can be ordered on the Penguin website

Or bought on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dirty-Love-Sampurna-Chattarji/dp/0143068008

http://www.amazon.com/Dirty-Love-ebook/dp/B00BN7WJWQ

Also on Infibeam:

http://www.infibeam.com/Books/dirty-love-sampurna-chattarji/9780143068006.html#variantId=P-M-B-9780143068006

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An interview in The Indian Express, Mumbai Newsline

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A feature in the Deccan Chronicle

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Coverage on the Delhi event in Tehelka

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An in-depth interview in the Marathi daily Prahar

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An online interview in India Bookstore

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