The Sly Company of People Who Care, 2011 Shortlist
Rahul Bhattacharya was born in 1979. A cricket journalist since 2000, he is now a contributing editor with Wisden Asia Cricket and has been writing for the Wisden Almanack since 2003, when he compiled the series overview of India in England, 2002. He also writes for the Guardian.
A twenty-six-year-old Indian journalist decides to give up his job and travel to a country where he can escape the deadness of his life. So he arrives in Guyana, a forgotten colonial society of raw, mesmerising beauty. From the beautiful, decaying wooden houses of Georgetown, through coastal sugarcane plantations, to the dark rainforest interior scavenged by diamond-hunters, he is absorbed by the fantastic possibilities of this place where the descendants of the enslaved and the indentured have made a new world. But he is not just seduced by the country: he is also captivated by the feisty yet fragile Jan, and together they embark on an adventure which will take them into a new country and change both their lives. In his dazzling and ambitious debut novel, Rahul Bhattacharya has created a story that follows the shape and rhythms of life, not art. Part picaresque, in part a meditation, The Sly Company of People Who Care captures the heady adventures of travel, the overheated restlessness of youth, and the paradoxes of searching for life’s meaning in the escape from home.
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