12-19-2007 12:15 PM
Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
A failure at school and a failure at work, a dreamer who spends his days dreaming in tea stalls and singing to himself in public gardens, 20-year-old Sampath Chawla hardly seems destined for great things. But one day, after climbing a guava tree in search of peaceful contemplation, Sampath awakes to find himself proclaimed "the Hermit of Shakhot." Embracing his new career as a holy man, Sampath unburdens himself of a wealth of hilariously prosaic and often uncanny revelations that upset the social equilibrium of his small hometown and send its outrageous inhabitants careening out of control.
Mirrorwork: 50 Years of Indian Writing, 1947-1997
Edited by Salman Rushdie and Elizabeth West
This unique anthology presents thirty-two selections by Indian authors writing in English over the past half-century. The novel excerpts, stories, and memoirs illuminate wonderful writing by authors often overlooked in the West. Chronologically arranged to reveal the development of Indian literature in English, this volume includes works by Anita Desai, Salman Rushdie, Vikram Seth, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and many more.
An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along a first-generation path strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs.
A Suitable Boy
Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find -- through love or through exacting maternal appraisal -- a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis, Seth takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves.
The God of Small Things
Set in Kerala, India, in 1969, this is the story of seven-year-old twins Rahel and Estha, born of a wealthy family and literally joined at the soul. Rahel and Estha are cared for by a host of compelling characters: their beautiful mother, their Marxist uncle Chacko, their prickly Grandaunt Baby Kochamma, and the volatile Veluth, a member of the Untouchable caste. When Chacko's ex-wife, Margaret, and lovely daughter, Sophie, unexpectedly return, the household is thrown into disarray. Tragedy strikes in the form of an accident (that may not have been accidental) and a terrifying murder.
Shalimar the Clown
This is the story of Maximilian Ophuls, America’s counterterrorism chief, one of the makers of the modern world; his Kashmiri Muslim driver and subsequent killer, a mysterious figure who calls himself Shalimar the clown; Max’s illegitimate daughter India; and a woman who links them, whose revelation finally explains them all. It is an epic narrative that moves from California to Kashmir, France, and England, and back to California again. Along the way there are tales of princesses lured from their homes by demons, legends of kings forced to defend their kingdoms against evil.
V. S. Naipaul
Abandoning a life he felt was not his own, Willie Chandran moves to Berlin where his sister's radical political awakening inspires him to join a liberation movement in India. There, in the jungles and dirt-poor small villages, through months of secrecy and night marches, Willie discovers both the idealism and brutality of guerilla warfare. When he finally escapes the movement, he is imprisoned for the murder of three policemen. Released unexpectedly on condition he return to England, he attempts to climb back into life in the West, but his experience of wealth, love, and despair in London only bedevils him further.