Prayag Ray is a PhD student at the School of Arts, English and Languages (area: English). He completed BA, and MA degrees in English at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, and an MPhil degree at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. His thesis involves a post-colonial critique of representations of Indian religious life in eighteenth-century colonial discourse. He participates in various creative writing workshops (prose and poetry) held at Queen’s, and has a forthcoming publication (non-fiction) with The Tangerine. He is an editor with The Open Ear, creative writing journal of the School, and is the Deputy Editor of Queen’s Political Review.

Prayag’s summary of his short story ‘The Chess Club’ (audio above)

‘The Chess Club’, a short story, opens with Ramesh Basu, Professor of English at Jadavpur University, spending a quiet Sunday afternoon at home. Ramesh’s wife Aditi draws his attention to a mysterious advert in a newspaper. The “European Chess Club”—an organisation Ramesh has never heard of—is offering a substantial prize to any native of Bengal who can best their champion in a game of chess. The reading picks up at the point where Ramesh has accepted the challenge, and is on his way to the chess club. As the evening pans out, he will meet many strange figures from the pages of India’s colonial history, and be challenged in ways he had never imagined.

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Recorded in the QR studio by Lucy Smith and Emmet McGonagle.