Written by a self-confessed Anglophile, Autobiography of An Unknown Indian is a witty and endearing account of Nirad C. Chaudhuri’s life. The book delves into the mind of the author as he takes his readers down memory lane to a pre-independence India. Written in a sarcastic manner that takes potshots at both Indian as well as British cultures, this book is one of the early works of Indian literature written in English.
The book offers an authentic peek into the way India functioned during the last days of British rule. It draws various incidents from the author’s life and lets us understand his views on life gained from his different experiences. Born into an educated Bengali household, the author led a life where the majority of his influences were from the western part of the world.
The book starts off with a dedication to the British rule meant in a witty and sarcastic way. However, since the book was published post independence, when nationalist sentiments were at an all-time high, his dedication was misinterpreted and led to a personal ordeal. While his book was praised unanimously in the West, he was awarded with criticism back in India.
Autobiography of An Unknown Indian is the memoir of an ordinary Indian who was well-educated in the British way of life. The first edition of this book was published by Jaico Publishing House in 1964. It is available in paperback format.
Self-written account of a Bengali-English writer who was also a cultural commentator.
Gives an authentic overview into the quality of a Bengali-Indian’s life during the pre-independence era.
Written by an educated person who was adept in the British ways of living.