In Search of Self Through the City
Shazia Salam
C: A NOVEL by Anupama Raju Aleph Book Company, 2022, 248 pp., INR 699
September 2023, volume 47, No 9

Cities are imbricated in the minds of the people in multiple ways woven through emotional experiences, subjectivities and various interactions.  It is some specific moments of encounter that impinge on one’s mind to shape the imaginaries associated with cities. In her debut book C: A Novel, Anupama Raju explores the questions of the relationship of the self to cities and how one shapes the other.  The novel has two narrators; a nameless protagonist and a city called C. The narrative revolves around a writer who keeps moving between two cities—one bright and sunny and the other immersed in darkness. The parallel narratives act as a dialogue between the protagonist’s reflection on the city and the city’s reflection on the experiences.

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