The Song of Kahunsha

Anosh Irani

Press Release







Book Launch:  Anosh Irani's The Song of Kahunsha June 25 7-9 pm

Published by Milkweed Editions
Book reading, sale, signing and discussion
Monday June 25: 7-9 pm
The Gallery, 143 West 29th Street, New York City 10001
Wine courtesy Bilimoria Wines. Beer courtesy Krait Beer
rsvp: or call 212 594 3685

Anosh Irani:
Anosh Irani was born and brought up in Bombay, India. He moved to Vancouver, Canada, in 1998. His first play, The Matka King, premiered at the Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver, in October 2003. His first novel, The Cripple and His Talismans, was published in 2005. The Song of Kahunsha, is his second novel. His new play, Bombay Black, was produced in January 2006 by Cahoots Theatre Projects and was the winner of 4 Dora Mavor Moore Awards including for Outstanding New Play. Irani divides his time between Bombay and Vancouver.

The Song of Kahunsha:
A startling, moving novel about abandonment, poverty, and violence, as well as loyalty, love, and hope, as seen through the eyes of a young homeless boy.

It is 1993 and Bombay is threatened by terrorism and sectarian strife. Ten-year-old Chamdi has rarely ventured outside his orphanage, and entertains an idyllic fantasy of what the city is like beyond its garden walls—a paradise he calls Kahunsha, “the city of no sadness.” When he runs away to search for his long-lost father, he finds himself thrust into the chaos of the streets, alone, possessing only the cloth he was left in as a baby. There Chamdi meets Sumdi and Guddi, brother and sister who beg in order to provide for their sick mother, and the three become fast friends.

Fueled by desire to find his father and the dream of his Kahunsha, Chamdi struggles for survival on Bombay’s brutal streets. But when he is caught up in the beginnings of the savage violence that will soon engulf the city, his dreams confront reality.

Wonderfully rich in the sights and sounds of Bombay, The Song of Kahunsha is a poignant story of hopes and dreams, and of the fragility of childhood innocence.

Reviews: A 2007 CBC Radio CANADA READS selection nominee

“[Irani’s] melodies in The Song of Kahunsha are at once bright and melancholic, his characters and senses as sharp as tusks and his plot as lithe as children running.”    — The National Post
“[Irani] rewrites Dickens’ Oliver Twist with his native Bombay replacing nineteenth-century London. . . Pure storytelling.” — The Toronto Star
“Evocative and colourful.”   —The London Free Press
“[Chamdi’s] relentless struggle to survive makes him one of this year’s most unforgettable heroes.” —Edmonton Journal
“A gripping and compassionate novel that will resonate long after readers have completed it. . . calls to mind Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance.”—Winnipeg Free Press
Beautiful. . . [It] vindicates the fragile but triumphant scope of childhood imagination with touching grace.”   —The Globe and Mail

The Indo-American Arts Council (IAAC) is a 501©3 not-for-profit arts organization passionately dedicated to promoting, showcasing and building an awareness of Indian artists in the performing arts visual arts and literary arts. Information: Indo-American Arts Council Inc, 146West 29th St, Suite 7R3, New York, NY 10001. Email: Web:


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