2021 One City One Story: 'Dumba Chora'

One City One Story is the Boston Book Festival’s version of an all-city read, but instead of a book, a short story from a Boston area author is showcased. Around 20,000 copies are printed as a booklet (or chapbook) and distributed for free through area public libraries, bookstores, coffee shops, festivals etc. A number of Spanish translations are also printed and digital copies shared on the website in English as well as multiple translations (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Bengali, Hindi.) 

The program's goal is to spread the joy of reading and to create a community around a shared reading experience. In keeping with us, a panel discussion with the author is part of the book fest program and usually, other free events centered around the story and the author pop-up in the community as well. Attend an event or watch a recording from here.

 
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Excerpt:

"The Thakuran River they had been gliding on, previously wide as a sea, had shrunk to an unsubstantial stream trickling through a trackless landscape of undulating silt. Its waters glimmered, about a hundred meters away, in the rapidly graying light. The river was as merry and bright as the jungles on the near bank were grim and dark. Elsewhere, as far as the eye could see, rolled endless, low dunes of mud: the riverbed had been unceremoniously unclothed."

 

Read the story in English

Read the story in Bengali

Read the story in Hindi

Forbes magazine

Boston Globe announcement

Waltham Tribune (Wicked Local)

Tufts Daily

Malavika Shetty's winning story based on a prompt from 'Dumba Chora'

Events around 'Dumba Chora'

Register for upcoming events below or watch past events from the provided links.

Nov 8th, 7 PM

Belmont Library discussion (coming up)

This talk will include award winner author Rishi Reddi, whose story also was a past selection for 'One City One Story' in 2013.

Nov 3, 7 PM

Waltham Public Library talk on writing

Virtual Reading and Q&A with the Waltham Public Library. Join 2021 1C1S Author Chandreyee Lahiri and the Waltham Public Library to read and discuss “Dumba Chora.” No registration required.

Oct 21, 6 PM

Boston Book Fest Panel

One City One Story Discussion at the Boston Book Festival. Facilitated by Alicia Anstead, associate director for programming at Harvard's Office of the Arts. (Note: To watch recording, please enter your email from the link)

Oct 18th, 6 pm

Boston Public Library Virtual book club 

'Community Read' Book Group with the Boston Public Library, as part of the Yearlong Reading Challenge. Registration is required for this free event. You do not need to be participating in the Reading Together challenge in order to take part in this book group.

Sept 11, 2021

“Place-Making Through Short Fiction”

The Boston Book Festival held a conversation between the 2021 One City One Story author Chandreyee Lahiri and the 2929 One City One Story author, Grace Talusan. It was held at the Rabb Lecture hall of the Boston Public Library on Copley Square and moderated by Boston in 100 Words director Jane De León Griffin.

 

Photo gallery of Sundarbans and the real Dumba Chora

Photos in this gallery are of the true events that inspired this story. The photographers are Haimanti Goswami-Banerjee and her husband, Amitava Banerjee who were on a trip to the Sundarbans one winter a few years ago. Their boat got marooned on a sand bar named Dumba Chora on the Matheran River. They had to be rescued by the forest service while the boatman (not named Rehman) waited for the tide to liberate his boat. They posted photos on FaceBook that inspired Dumba Chora which is based on the marooning but NOT their marriage. Sutapa, Shekhar, Rehman and the tiger were sprung entirely from the authors imagination. Some photos have links for more information about this beautiful and tortured region. 

Click on each photo in the gallery to read about it and follow the 'learn more' link.