Contents: Introduction. 1. According to rough estimates…/Gunter Grass. 2. The Vexing cheerfulness of Bombay’s poor/Gunter Grass. 3. The flounder in the Arabian Sea: Gunter Grass’ visit to Bombay (1978)/Joachim Buhler. 4. ‘My Broken Love for Calcutta’: Interview with Darryl D’Monte. 5. Of open minds and living cultures: reflections on Gunter Grass’ two visits to Calcutta: An Interview of P. Lal. 6. Impressions of Gunter Grass in 1975 and 1986/Sankarlal Bhattacharjee. 7. Two afternoons with Gunter Grass: meeting the Writer in Hamburg and Calcutta (September 1984 and August 1986)/Subhoranjan Dasgupta. 8. He came, he saw – but did he conquer?/S.V. Raman. 9. Gunter Grass, the Tin Drum Player of Calcutta: Grass joining the family/Shuvaprasanna Bhattacharyya. 10. Guiding Grass through Calcutta/Daud Haider. 11. Elder brother Gunter Grass: simple memories of a sweet relationship/Tripty Ghatak. 12. ‘Calcutta demands its own Bengali James Joyce’: Interview with Subhoranjan Dasgupta. 13. ‘Misery has a terrifying beauty’: Interview with Behula Chowdhury. 14. ‘Calcutta’s problems are the problems of the world’: Interview with Sadanand Menon in Madras. 15. Gunter Grass in Dhaka/Kaiser Haq. 16. ‘What a huge family’: Gunter and Ute Grass visit our home in Dhaka/Rashid Haider. 17. Rehearsals for revolution: Playing theatre in Calcutta with Gunter Grass/Amitava Roy. 18. All said and done: a resume of Gunter Grass’ stay in India/Khushwant Singh. 19. The revenge of Goddess Kali: a German review of show your tongue/Peter von Becker. 20. For example Calcutta/Gunter Grass. 21. Leaves of Grass: intercontinental encounters and conversations/Amitave Roy. 22. 1987: from my century (1999)/Gunter Grass. 23. ‘To be continued…’: Nobel Lecture 1999/Gunter Grass. Sources. Bibliography.
"In 1975 when the German novelist Gunter Grass, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, 1999, visited India for the first time, he singled out Calcutta as a city he would definitely return to. The abject poverty in which many in Calcutta lived, juxtaposed with the throbbing vitality of the city and the tremendous will of the people to strive against the odds, evoked in Grass a strange mixture of attraction and disgust, but also left him utterly fascinated.
"Grass did return to Calcutta eleven years later, this time with his wife Ute, to live there for a year as ordinary residents of the city. Even though the couple eventually spent only a few months there, the experience left a lasting impression on Grass, Ute and the people who came in contact with them. Calcutta affected Grass in some indefinable but significant way, just as he had touched the lives of many through the friendships he struck up, his support of social causes, and his efforts to promote the role of the creative artist in politics. The encounter also resulted in Zunge zeigen (Show Your Tongue), a diary published in 1989, in which Grass approached Indian reality through prose, verse and a series of black-and –white sketches.
"My Broken Love is a rich collection of all the material available on Gunter Grass’ sojourn in Calcutta and his other visits to India and Bangladesh. In addition to Grass’ own essays, lectures and references regarding India, there are articles, interviews, anecdotes, impressions and criticisms—by close friends, associates and journalists—all of which provide a unique insight into one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century. Compiled by Martin Kampchen, the collection also includes over twenty photographs and sketches by Grass himself." (jacket)