Rajorshi Chakraborti (1977 – ) is an Indian-born novelist, short story writer, essayist and reviewer. He has published five novels and a book of short stories. He holds a PhD in post-colonial literature from Edinburgh University, where he also lectured in English and Creative writing from 2007 – 2010, and has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers, journals and periodicals.
Rajorshi Chakraborti (1977 – ) is an Indian-born novelist, short story writer, essayist and reviewer. He grew up in Kolkata and Mumbai, and has also lived in Canada, England and Scotland. He holds a PhD in post-colonial literature from Edinburgh University, where he also lectured in English and Creative writing from 2007 – 2010. He moved to Wellington in 2010 and has lived there ever since. Presently he is a full-time writer and stay-home parent, and he has been described by The Spinoff as the best dressed novelist in New Zealand.
Rajorshi’s first novel, Or the Day Seizes You (2006), is a surreal and dreamlike story that explores family, home, and identity, and confronts the vast distances that can exist even between people in close relationships. The Sunday Tribune called it ‘A refreshing novel, written with a fine balance between heart and mind, which dwells deeply into the Indian psyche with great panache,’ and the Statesman commented that Rajorshi was ‘A writer so promising and committed that one suspects he cannot help doing too many things too well’. A Spanish-language version of the novel, La Vida Que Nos Lleva, was published in 2009.
His 2013 collection of short stories, Lost Men, was equally acclaimed. Each story in the book asks the question ‘what do people do when they are utterly lost?’ and answers it in dark, absurd and funny ways. ‘Knock, Knock’, the first story in the collection, won the runner-up prize at the Sunday Star Times Short Story Awards in 2011.
The Man Who Would Not See (2018) is Rajorshi’s fifth and most recent novel. A domestic psychological thriller set in Wellington, it deals with notions of home, masculinity, culture and family. The review of the novel at Landfall praises Rajorshi’s skilful evocation of ‘the obsessive focus of [the protagonist’s] anxious mind, the evaluation and re-evaluation of situations, light-bulb revelations which are later dismissed, doubts that become certainties and vice versa’. The Man Who Would Not See was longlisted for the Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize at the 2019 Ockham awards.
Alongside his fiction, Rajorshi is also a prolific writer of non-fiction, and has published articles in anthologies and journals such as The Edinburgh Introduction to Studying English Literature (2010), Word Play: The Magazine of the English Subject Centre (2009), and The Popcorn Essayists: What Films do to Writers (2010), as well as reviews and articles in periodicals and newspapers including Landfall, the Edinburgh Review and The Hindu.
His forthcoming sixth novel, Shakti, is a supernatural mystery thriller, due to be published in India by Penguin Random House (India) in November 2019, and then again in New Zealand and Australia in February 2020.
Rajorshi at Penguin Random House
A conversation between Rajorshi and Kim Hill.
Updated June 2019.