The Town Slowly Empties

On Life and Culture During Lockdown

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

Foreword by Sasha Dugdale


Copper Coin, 2021

Language: English

200 pages

Price INR 399.00

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How does one record an extraordinary time? Confined to his Delhi apartment, Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee unravels the intimate paradoxes of the life he encounters in the first weeks of a global pandemic. His stories about local fish sellers, gardeners, barbers and lovers merge with his concerns for the exodus of migrant labourers, the challenges faced by health workers, and a mother braving checkposts to bring her son home.

Drawing inspiration from contemporary literature and cinema, The Town Slowly Empties is a unique window on a world desperate for love, care and hope. Manash is our Everyman, urging us to slow down and mend our broken ties with nature.

Written with rare candour and elegance, this meditative book is a compelling account of the human condition that soars high above the empty streets.

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee

Manash Firaq Bhattacharjee is a poet, writer, and political science scholar from Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. He is the author of Looking for the Nation: Towards Another Idea of India (Speaking Tiger, 2018) and a collection of poetry, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (The London Magazine, 2013). He frequently writes for the Wire and has contributed to the New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, the Hindu, the Indian Express, Outlook, among other publications. His poetry has appeared in Rattle, World Literature Today, Acumen, the Fortnightly Review, among others. He has taught lyric poetry and literary journalism at Ambedkar University, New Delhi.

Sasha Dugdale

Sasha Dugdale is a British poet, playwright and translator. She has written five poetry collections and is a translator of Russian literature.