Ashis Gupta

Ashis Gupta is a novelist, poet, publisher and academic.  Ashis Gupta completed a Ph.D. in English literature at Harvard University in the mid 1970s. The title of his dissertation is The Ironies of Moral Experience in Spenser’s Fairie Queene. He and his wife Swapna moved to Calgary in 1978. Gupta went on to teach management studies in Calgary, retiring from the Haskayne School of Business in 2003.  Ashis Gupta co-founded the independent publishing house Bayeux Arts with Swapna Gupta in 1994.

Fiction (Juvenile, Picture book)

Animal Farm 2017

Illustrated by: Alexiev Gandman.
Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2018.

Publisher’s Synopsis

This is a timely adaptation of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ in the context of the Trump administration’s disastrous epoch in American life.

Fiction (Short stories)

The Irrelevance of Space and Other Stories

Co-author: Ashis Gupta.
Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2017.
PS8613 .U688 I77 2017

Publisher’s Synopsis

Collection of six stories of restless feet and wandering spirits. The stories in The Irrelevance of Space range in setting from Scandinavia to Canada, Eastern Europe, Iran, Cuba, and the U.S.

Krishna, A Love Story book cover

Fiction

Krishna: A Love Story

Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2007.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Continued by: Rahul: A DifferentLove Story.

Rahul, A Differernt Love Story book cover

Fiction

Rahul: A Different Love Story

Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2008.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Rahul’s story tells of the transforming power of love. It is also a narrative of cultural dislocations, and the beautiful, bewildering, and bizarre outcomes such dislocations often give rise to.
Set arount the 1970s in Calcutta (today’s Kolkata), the India-Bangladesh border, Boston, New York, and New Jersey, the story’s backdrop is tumultuous–the political upheaval brought about by the Maoist Naxalite movement in Bengal, a horrific war which saw the transformation of East Bengal into Bangladesh, and a host of other racial, religious, and linguistic confrontations.
Through it all flows the river of life, fed by endless streams of hatred, greed, cruelty, ambition and–lest we forget–love.

A sequel to Krishna: A Love Story.

Fiction

Requiem for the Last Indian

Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2015.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Many North Americans have little understanding or knowledge of the deep history of the conflicts involving First Nations and other Canadians. Taking place in the lands of the Cree Indians and the original 17th century settlers with the Hudson’s Bay Company, ‘Requiem’ traces family history and the land’s metamorphosis from a simple, nature-centered life to a complex world of trade, politics and intrigue.

Penned by Canadian novelist, publisher and editor, Ashis Gupta, ‘Requiem for the Last Indian’ offers a deeper understanding of the roots of conflicts between First Nations and other Canadians. A bittersweet tale of love, wisdom and redemption, the novel is set largely in the frozen, inhospitable land of the Cree Indians bordering the James and Hudson Bays in northern Canada at the end of the 20th century, ‘Requiem’ tells the ill-fated love story of Charlie, son of a London mapmaker, and Rosie, a Cree school teacher. When ‘Requiem’ opens, the police are interviewing Charlie about the murder of three men following the brutal death of his Cree lover, who met the same fate of many of her real life Aboriginal sisters.

 

Fiction

The Siberian Odyssey of Hans Schroeder

Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2013.

Publisher’s Synopsis

The Siberian Odyssey of Hans Schroeder is the ironic and tragic story of a young German mesmerized by the Hitler Youth aura who finds himself on the Russian front where he is taken prisoner. Years later, he is released from his Siberian prisoner-of-war camp and eventually emigrates to Massachusetts, USA, and leads what appears to be an exemplary family life. And, then, he commits the gruesome crime of a double murder. During the course of his trial, his past experiences are exposed under psychiatric investigations, experiences that bring to light the dramatic events Hans was a part of while a prisoner.

Based on a true story.

For New Orleans and Other Poems book cover

Poetry (Anthology)

“For New Orleans” and Other Poems

Edited by Ashis Gupta.
Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2007.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

An anthology of poems with contributions from over 60 of America’s finest poets, including 5 Pulitzer Prize winners.

Gospel According to Clarence Thomas book cover

Poetry

The Gospel According to Clarence Thomas: A Libretto.

Illustrated by Alexiev Gandman.
Calgary: Bayeux Arts, 2008.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Crafted as a long poem, a libretto for stage presentations, “The Gospel according to Clarence Thomas” is less about Clarence Thomas than it is about the devastating reign of the Bush administration. The central idea of the book is: ‘War is an Evil product of Evil/Hypocritical Minds’.

The ‘Chorus of the Homeless’ occupies a central role in the poem, performing a function much like the Chorus in Greek Tragedies, providing a reasonably objective commentary. In a sense, the central story is a tragedy too – George Bush is a tragic figure. And, towards the end, he is conceived as a tragic hero, a Samson-like figure who pulls down the temple over his head to crush the Philistines. (Samson, by the way, was history’s first ‘suicide-bomber’).

Selected Criticism and Interpretation

Chilana, Rajwant Singh. “Ashis Gupta.” In South Asian Writers in Canada: A Bio-Bibliographical Study. Surrey, BC: Asian Publications, 2017, 172-173.
Z1376 .S68 C45 2017

Links

Publisher Bayeux Arts