The Immortals, By Amit Chaudhuri

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The Independent Culture

The Immortals was published after a novelistic hiatus of nearly a decade during which the seasoned Indian author, Amit Chaudhuri, also focused on his other central passion: making music.

So it is not surprising that the novel that followed is a blend of his two loves. Music features prominently in his characters' lives, be it the wealthy family in which the Bengali housewife, Mallika Sengupta, resides, alongside her corporate executive husband, nurturing dreams of the "Lata Mangeshkar" fame that eludes her, or Shyam Lal's less illustrious existence as her doomed music teacher who is dogged by the mighty shadow of his father, the 'heavenly singer' Ram Lal.

Set mainly in the urban domesticity of 1970s and 1980s Bombay, this never consciously becomes an "Indian" novel but one in which Chaudhuri dramatises desires and disappointments against an Indian backdrop.

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