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Kunal Basu

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Kunal Basu

The Japanese Wife

Jadavpur University

Susmita Basu (m. 1982)


Kunal Basu Pan Macmillan India

4 May 1956 (age 68) Calcutta, West Bengal, India (

University Reader in Marketing at Said Business School, University of Oxford

Chabi Basu, Sunil Kumar Basu

Racists, The Opium Clerk, The Miniaturist, Yellow Emperor's Cure: A N, The Japanese wife

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Kunal basu

Kunal Basu (Bengali: কুনাল বসু) is an Indian author of English fiction who has written five novels – The Opium Clerk (2001), The Miniaturist (2003), Racists (2006), The Yellow Emperor's Cure (2011) and Kalkatta (2015). He has also written a collection of short stories, The Japanese Wife (2008), the title story of which has been made into a film by the Indian filmmaker Aparna Sen.



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Kunal Basu asiasocietyorgfilesuploads258imagesDr20Kunal

Kunal Basu was born in Kolkata to Sunil Kumar Basu (a litterateur and publisher and one of the early members of the Communist Party of India) and Chabi Basu (an author and actress). Born to Communist parents, he was brought up on books and enriching conversations at home that was visited by a galaxy of prominent men and women of the day.

Kunal Basu Kunal Basu Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

In between he worked for an advertising agency, in freelance journalism, dabbled in filmmaking, and taught at Jadavpur University for a brief period of 16 months. In 1982, he met and married Susmita. Their daughter, Aparajita, was born soon after.

Following his doctoral degree, he was a professor at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, from 1986–1999. His 13 years at McGill were interrupted only by a brief stint at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, in 1989. Since 1999, he has been teaching at Oxford University's Saïd Business School. He has also written financial pieces for business publications such as Fast Company and MIT Sloan Management Review.

Influence and themes

Basu is one of the very few Indian practitioners of historical fiction. Apart from his love of history, it has something to do with the influence of his favourite author, the Bengali novelist Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay (1838–94). Bankim (himself heavily influenced by Walter Scott) was a writer of historical novels, as were many other Bengali writers of the 19th and 20th centuries whom Basu avidly read as a child, like Ramesh Chandra Dutta and Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. But more than anything, he has said what draws him most to this genre is the "romantic possibilities of the historical novel", the scope to inhabit other places and times and thus enable the reader to romance the strange.

Basu is the first writer to deal with the opium trade in Indian fiction. This part of British colonial history is often ignored nowadays in British history textbooks.

The Mughal court, once again, made its first appearance in Indian-English fiction in The Miniaturist. Basu has always had a great fascination for Mughal history. That innate interest coupled with several trips to Agra and Fatehpur Sikri helped him recreate the 16th century setting.

This Muslim novel by Basu was followed by Racists, a book which did not have a single Indian character in it. It was the first Victorian novel to be written by a non-white and was nominated for the Crossword Book Award.

Basu has said that there is certainly 'deep' (as opposed to 'surface') autobiography in his work, and cites Mahim – a member of 19th century's Young Bengal – as the character that comes closest to him as a person. His first novel is also partly located in the city of his birth – though a Calcutta 100 years before his time.


Kunal Basu Wikipedia

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