25¢ a Cup: Finding Paris in India by Brian Thomas released on November 7.
Brian Thomas’ dream was to write and photograph in the bohemian Paris of the late 1920s, the city loved by Ernest Hemingway, Henry Miller, and the photographer, Brassaï. While Paris had no place in 2020 for aspiring artists, Thomas had found hotels, cafes and a community of travelers and writers in Calcutta that did. He wrote 25¢ a Cup during the year he worked Calcutta’s streets and slums as a photographer for NGOs helping the city’s most destitute and for his own portfolio. It was a year of coming to terms with his privilege and his art.
25¢ a Cup is a travel-memoir that tells the story of Thomas’ own family’s economic struggles as it considers the conflicts that took place in Calcutta in the early nineteenth century when the first multinational corporation ruled a country as old and storied as ancient Greece. The adventure moves through the past and present, from the time of the British East India Company to the age of iPhones. Yes, there’s a time machine and there are ghost stories as well. The tale is part historical fiction, but mostly it’s creative non-fiction. With 100 superb photographs of India, 25¢ a Cup is beautifully illustrated, quick, and deep.