Grunewald forest

Adrift in Berlin: Sojourn, by Amit Chaudhuri, reviewed

Feelings of dislocation are at the heart of Amit Chaudhuri’s award-winning novels. Friend of My Youth (2017) followed a writer’s unsettling trip back to his childhood home in Bombay. Before that, Odysseus Abroad (2014) charted the day of a lonely English literature student from India as he meandered around London. Now, in Sojourn – Chaudhuri’s eighth novel – we meet a nameless first-person narrator adrift in Berlin. It is the early 2000s, and the 43-year-old, Indian protagonist has just arrived as a visiting professor at a university for four months. He doesn’t know anyone, and navigating the streets is confusing. After giving his inaugural talk, he is accosted by Faqrul,