Here, day and night were interchangeable. The immaculately dressed Corniche, radiant in her youth, had just stepped on to the floor at the nightclub. Set in 1950s Calcutta, Corniche is a sprawling saga of the intimate lives of managers, employees and guests at one of Calcutta’s largest hotels, the Shahjahan. Shankar, the newest recruit, recounts the stories of several people whose lives come together in the suites, restaurants, bar and backrooms of the hotel.

As both observer and participant in the events, he inadvertently peels off the layers of everyday existence to expose the seamy underbelly of unfulfilled desires, broken dreams, callous manipulation and unbidden tragedy. What unfolds is not just the story of individual lives but also the incredible chronicle of a metropolis. Written by best-selling Bengali author Sankar, Corniche was published as a novel in 1962.

Predating Arthur Hailey’s Hotel by three years, it became an instant hit, spawning translations in major Indian languages, a film and a play. Its larger-than-life characters the enigmatic manager Marco Polo, the debonair receptionist Sate Bose, the tragic hostess Karabo Guha, among others soon attained cult status.

With its thinly veiled accounts of the private lives of real-life celebrities, and its sympathetic narrative seamlessly weaving the past and the present, it immediately established itself as a popular classic. Available for the first time in English, Corniche is as much a dirge as it is a homage to a city and its people.

Language English
ISBN-10 0143418068
ISBN-13 978-0143418061
No of pages 401
Font Size Medium
Book Publisher Penguin India
Published Date 13 Jan 2012

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Author : Sankar

2 Books

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