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02 A Novel Experience

There are three novels, Flowers in the Blood by Gay Courter, The Man With Many Hats by Jael Silliman, and The Teak Almirah by Jael Silliman that are set in Calcutta. Flowers in the Blood is set in Calcutta in the mid nineteenth century, and The Man With Many Hats in the twentieth century. The Teak Almirah is set in contemporary Calcutta and takes the reader for a nostalgic trip in search of Jewish Calcutta.

Another novel connected to Jewish community of Calcutta is “House of Wives” written by Simon Choa-Johnston loosely based upon his great grand-father, Emanuel Raphael Belilios “the foremost opium merchant in Hongkong in the 1880s.”  Emanuel Belilios was a Jewish Opium merchant from Calcutta.

Bem Le Fonte's There, Where the Pepper Grows is a novel about Polish Jewish refugees who escaped occupied Poland and arrived in Calcutta after a journey across Asia.

There is also a play that is set in the Calcutta Jewish community, entitled Calcutta Kosher, written by Shelley Silas, and directed by Janet Steele. The plot revolved around Mozelle whose two daughters return to Calcutta to be at her side when she is old and in critical health. It was staged in London by Kali Theater in 2007.