Perhaps no city in India has inspired the responses of love and disgust as sharply as Calcutta, now Kolkata, where the old and the new, the beautiful and the squalid coexist side by side. Once a global city second only to London, it has often been written off as a ‘dying city’. But despite—perhaps because of—all its problems, Calcuttans love the city with the illogical passion of true love.
In his 1971 book on the city, Geoffrey Moorhouse wondered why Calcutta is so ‘strangely beloved’. This collection of writings brings out the essence of the attractions this city has to offer—its food, music, theatre, art, politics—by weaving together history and personal experience, social commentary and political critique. Sharing the experiences of renowned writers and poets, academics and historians, who have all loved the life of this city, Strangely Beloved provides a rare and heart-warming glimpse into the heart, mind and soul of one of the greatest cities in the world.