Saturday, May 15, 2010

Table of Contents: The Inheritance of Loss

The Inheritance of LossAuthor: Kiran Desai
Publisher/Year: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006
Synopsis: In India near the Nepal border lives Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired Cambridge-educated judge. Living with him is his granddaughter Sai and his cook. Sai is 16 and has fallen in love with her 20-year old tutor, Gyan. Gyan, however, joins Nepalese independence insurgents and the group breaks into Jemubhai's home looking for weapons, terrorizing them all. Meanwhile, Biju, the son of Jemubhai's cook has illegally immigrated to New York City where his life is miserable. He tries to eke out an existence without being caught and being in an alien culture which isn't too kindly to him. It's his return home that sparks the confrontation in all their lives.

What Others Have To Say
The New York Times
"Desai's novel seems to argue that such multiculturalism, confined to the Western metropolis and academe, doesn't begin to address the causes of extremism and violence in the modern world. Nor, it suggests, can economic globalization become a route to prosperity for the downtrodden."

The Independent
" perhaps overlong, and on occasion digressive; its vividly painted backdrops and multiple motifs sometimes overshadow its characters."

Sydney Morning Herald
"Desai has clearly learnt the value of the pause; she allows her story to breathe. The prose is quieter, sparer and almost always beautiful."

Boston Globe
"...offers all of the pleasures of traditional narrative in a form and a voice that are utterly fresh."