"Vivek Shanbhag is an Indian Chekhov." --Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City "One of the best novels to have come out of India in recent decades." --Pankaj Mishra For readers of Akhil Sharma, Mohsin Hamid, and Teju Cole, a haunting, masterly novel about a family splintered by success in rapidly changing India Bangalore, present day. A young man's close-knit family is nearly destitute when his uncle founds a successful spice company, changing their fortunes overnight. As they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and try to adjust to a new way of life, allegiances realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Things become "ghachar ghochar"--a nonsense phrase uttered by one of the characters that comes to mean something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can't be untied. Elegantly written and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humor, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings--and consequences--of financial gain in contemporary India.
From a cramped, ant-infested house to a spacious bungalow, a family finds itself making a transition in many ways. The narrator, a sensitive young man, is numbed by the swirl around him. All he can do is flee every day to an old-world cafe, where he seeks solace from an oracular waiter. As members of the family realign their equations and desires, new strands are knotted, others come apart, and conflict brews dangerously in the background. Masterfully translated from the Kannada by Srinath Perur, Ghachar Ghochar is a suspenseful, playful and ultimately menacing story about the shifting consequences of success.
In this masterful novel by the acclaimed Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag, a close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution to sudden wealth after the narrator's uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator - a sensitive young man who is never named - along with his sister, his parents, and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter newfound wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Their world becomes 'ghachar ghochar' - a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. Told in clean, urgent prose, and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings - and consequences - of financial gain in contemporary India.
“A great Indian novel." —The New York Times Book Review (Editors' Choice) "A classic tale of wealth and moral ruin." —The New Yorker "Ghachar Ghochar introduces us to a master." —The Paris Review A young man's close-knit family is nearly destitute when his uncle founds a successful spice company, changing their fortunes overnight. As they move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house on the other side of Bangalore, and try to adjust to a new way of life, the family dynamic begins to shift. Allegiances realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Things become “ghachar ghochar”—a nonsense phrase uttered by one meaning something tangled beyond repair, a knot that can't be untied. Elegantly written and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humor, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings—and consequences—of financial gain in contemporary India. Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award One of the BBC's "10 Books You Should Read in February" One of Publishers Weekly's "Writers to Watch Spring 2017" One of the NewYorker.com contributors' "Books We Loved in 2016"
What is it like to travel with others for adventure, lust and god? This delightful travelogue, in which Srinath Perur embarks upon ten conducted tours, is full of rich experiences: hanging on to a camel in the Thar Desert, joining thousands on a pilgrimage in Maharashtra, crossing living root bridges near Cherrapunji, rediscovering music while on the trail of Kabir, and a lot more. As much about people as it is about places, the book is also a reflection of the nature of popular travel today, which is marked by the packaging of experiences, the formation of tourist economies and compulsive picture-taking. How this influences tourists comes across vividly: in their creation of a mini India on a bus as they race through treasured sights in Europe; in their perfunctory devotion as they hop from temple to temple in Tamil Nadu; and in their ‘enjoying’ with sex workers far away from home. Ironic, and often comic, If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai is an idiosyncratic portrait of India and her people.
A rape. A war. A society where women are bought and sold but no one can speak of shame. Shanghai 1937. Violence throbs at the heart of The Dancing Girl and the Turtle.Song Anyi is on the road to Shanghai and freedom when she is raped and left for dead. The silence and shamethat mark her courageous survival drive her to escalating self-harm and prostitution. From opium dens to high- class brothels, Anyi dances on the edge of destruction while China prepares for war with Japan. Hers is the voice of every woman who fights for independence against overwhelming odds.The Dancing Girl and the Turtle is one of four interlocking novels set in Shanghai from 1929 to 1954. Through the eyes of the dancer, Song Anyi, and her brother Kang, the Shanghai Quartet spans a tumultuous time in Chinese history: war with the Japanese, the influx of stateless Jews into Shanghai, civil war and revolution. How does the love of a sister destroy her brother and all those around him?
It is sometime in the first decade of the 20th century. The British Imperialists have been in India for over 150 years. However, life in the small village of Shahpur in undivided Punjab has remained largely unchanged. The menfolk look to the wealthy and worldly-wise Shahji and his benevolent younger brother Kashi for support and advice, while it is Shahji's wife's home and hearth that is the centre of all celebrations for the women. Local disputes, trade, politics, a trickling of news from the Lahore newspaper are all discussed every evening at the Shah's haveli. But as the Ghadar Movement gains momentum elsewhere in Punjab and in Bengal, bringing into focus the excesses of the British, the simple village of Shahpur cannot help looking at itself. The discontent has set in. Krishna Sobti's magnum opus, Zindaginama brilliantly captures the story of India through a village where people of both faiths coexisted peacefully, living off the land.
Author: Lisa Halliday
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-02-06
NATIONAL BESTSELLER “Asymmetry is extraordinary...Halliday has written, somehow all at once, a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas and a politically engaged work of metafiction.” —Alice Gregory, The New York Times Book Review “A brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war.” —Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal “A scorchingly intelligent first novel...Asymmetry will make you a better reader, a more active noticer. It hones your senses.” —Parul Seghal, The New York Times A singularly inventive and unforgettable debut novel about love, luck, and the inextricability of life and art, from 2017 Whiting Award winner Lisa Halliday. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is an urgent, important, and truly original work that will captivate any reader while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.
From the widely acclaimed writer, a beguiling new novel, at once wistful and ribald, about a day in the life of two Indian men in London--a university student and his bachelor uncle--each coping in his own way with alienation, solitariness, and the very art of living. It is 1985. Twenty-two-year-old Ananda has been in London for two years, practicing at being a poet. He's homesick, thinks of himself as an inveterate outsider, and yet he can't help feeling that there's something romantic, even poetic, in his isolation. His uncle, Radhesh, a magnificent failure who lives in genteel impoverishment and celibacy, has been in London for nearly three decades. Odysseus Abroad follows them on one of their weekly, familiar forays about town. The narrative surface has the sensual richness that has graced all of Amit Chaudhuri's work. But the great charm and depth of the novel reside in Ananda's far-ranging ruminations (into the triangle between his mother, father, and Radhesh--his mother's brother, his father's best friend; his Sylheti/Bengali ancestry; the ambitions and pressures that rest on his shoulders); in Radhesh's often artfully wielded idiosyncrasies; and in the spiky, needful, sometimes comical, yet ultimately loving connection between the two men. This eBook edition includes a reading group guide.
Author: Adam Roberts
Release Date: 2017-04-25
Genre: Social Science
Who can foretell India's future? Mr. Joshi is a fortune teller in a slum in south Delhi who uses a soothsaying green parrot to make predictions. When Adam Roberts visited him in 2012, Joshi's parrot declared that India was destined to become the most powerful nation under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The parrot also foretold that India would win the soccer World Cup. Parrots may not be the preeminent political authority, but many Indians were just as confident. So Adam Roberts spent five years traveling the length and breadth of the country from Kerala to the Himalayas, Bengal to Gujarat. As he encountered the power brokers, gate keepers, and elaborate social dynamics of the world's largest democracy, he asked if--and how--India can become a truly great economic power, more influential abroad and stable at home. He met prime ministers, multimillionaires, traveling salesmen, pilgrims, eco-warriors, farmers, and tech innovators, each wrestling with the trials posed by the world's most conspicuously nearly great power. He experienced an immense country that, despite daunting challenges, is entering the most optimistic period in its modern history. Through vivid storytelling and insight, Superfast Primetime Ultimate Nation examines the problems and promises of fast-growing India to reveal how it might reach its full potential and become, as Mr. Joshi's parrot predicted, a truly powerful nation.
Khuku, a housewife, is irritated with the Muslims because their call to prayer wakes her up early every morning; her husband, a retired businessman, has been hired to cure a 'sick’ sweet factory that doesn't particularly want to be cured. Across town, Khuku's brother worries about his son's affiliations with the Communist Party, but only because they may affect his ever-so-gradually coalescing marriage prospects. Freedom Song is vintage Amit Chaudhuri, playing with big ideas while evoking the smallest aspects of everyday life with acute tenderness and extraordinary beauty.
Author: Bilal Tanweer
Publisher: Random House India
Release Date: 2013-12-04
The Scatter Here Is Too Great heralds a major new voice from Pakistan with a stunning debut—a novel told in a rich variety of distinctive voices that converge at a single horrific event: a bomb blast at a station in the heart of the city. Comrade Sukhansaz, an old communist poet, is harassed on a bus full of college students minutes before the blast. His son, a wealthy middle-aged businessman, yearns for his own estranged child. A young man, Sadeq, has a dead-end job snatching cars from people who have defaulted on their bank loans, while his girlfriend spins tales for her young brother to conceal her own heartbreak. An ambulance driver picking up the bodies after the blast has a shocking encounter with two strange-looking men whom nobody else seems to notice. And in the midst of it all, a solitary writer, tormented with grief for his dead father and his decimated city, struggles to find words. Elegantly weaving together a striking portrait of a city and its people, The Scatter Here Is Too Great is a love story written to Karachi—as vibrant and varied in its characters, passions, and idiosyncrasies as the city itself.
Winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing "Guest workers of the United Arab Emirates embody multiple worlds and identities and long for home in a fantastical debut work of fiction, winner of the inaugural Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.… The author's crisp, imaginative prose packs a punch, and his whimsical depiction of characters who oscillate between two lands on either side of the Arabian Sea unspools the kind of immigrant narratives that are rarely told. An enchanting, unparalleled anthem of displacement and repatriation." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review In the United Arab Emirates, foreign nationals constitute over 80 percent of the population. Brought in to construct and serve the towering monuments to wealth that punctuate the skylines of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, this labor force is not given the option of citizenship. Some ride their luck to good fortune. Others suffer different fates. Until now, the humanitarian crisis of the so-called “guest workers” of the Gulf has barely been addressed in fiction. With his stunning, mind-altering debut novel Temporary People, Deepak Unnikrishnan delves into their histories, myths, struggles, and triumphs. Combining the linguistic invention of Salman Rushdie and the satirical vision of George Saunders, Unnikrishnan presents twenty-eight linked stories that careen from construction workers who shapeshift into luggage and escape a labor camp, to a woman who stitches back together the bodies of those who’ve fallen from buildings in progress, to a man who grows ideal workers designed to live twelve years and then perish—until they don’t, and found a rebel community in the desert. With this polyphony of voices, Unnikrishnan maps a new, unruly global English and gives personhood back to the anonymous workers of the Gulf. "Guest workers of the United Arab Emirates embody multiple worlds and identities and long for home in a fantastical debut work of fiction, winner of the inaugural Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing.… The author's crisp, imaginative prose packs a punch, and his whimsical depiction of characters who oscillate between two lands on either side of the Arabian Sea unspools the kind of immigrant narratives that are rarely told. An enchanting, unparalleled anthem of displacement and repatriation." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "Inventive, vigorously empathetic, and brimming with a sparkling, mordant humor, Deepak Unnikrishnan has written a book of Ovidian metamorphoses for our precarious time. These absurdist fables, fluent in the language of exile, immigration, and bureaucracy, will remind you of the raw pleasure of storytelling and the unsettling nearness of the future." —Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine “Inaugural winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, this debut novel employs its own brand of magical realism to propel readers into an understanding and appreciation of the experience of foreign workers in the Arab Gulf States (and beyond). Through a series of almost 30 loosely linked sections, grouped into three parts, we are thrust into a narrative alternating between visceral realism and fantastic satire.... The alternation between satirical fantasy, depicting such things as intelligent cockroaches and evil elevators, and poignant realism, with regards to necessarily illicit sexuality, forms a contrast that gives rise to a broad critique of the plight of those known euphemistically as ‘guest workers.’ VERDICT: This first novel challenges readers with a singular inventiveness expressed through a lyrical use of language and a laserlike focus that is at once charming and terrifying. Highly recommended.” —Henry Bankhead, Library Journal, Starred Review “Unnikrishnan’s debut novel shines a light on a little known world with compassion and keen insight. The Temporary People are invisible people—but Unnikrishnan brings them to us with compassion, intelligence, and heart. This is why novels matter.” —Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop (Sewickley, PA) “Deepak Unnikrishnan uses linguistic pyrotechnics to tell the story of forced transience in the Arabian Peninsula, where citizenship can never be earned no matter the commitment of blood, sweat, years of life, or brains. The accoutrements of migration—languages, body parts, passports, losses, wounds, communities of strangers—are packed and carried along with ordinary luggage, blurring the real and the unreal with exquisite skill. Unnikrishnan sets before us a feast of absurdity that captures the cruel realities around the borders we cross either by choice or by force. In doing so he has found what most writers miss: the sweet spot between simmering rage at a set of circumstances, and the circumstances themselves.” —Ru Freeman, author of On Sal Mal Lane “Deepak writes brilliant stories with a fresh, passionate energy. Every page feels as if it must have been written, as if the author had no choice. He writes about exile, immigration, deportation, security checks, rage, patience, about the homelessness of living in a foreign land, about historical events so strange that, under his hand, the events become tales, and he writes tales so precisely that they read like history. Important work. Work of the future. This man will not be stopped.” —Deb Olin Unferth, author of Revolution “From the strange Kafka-esque scenarios to the wholly original language, this book is amazing on so many different levels. Unlike anything I've ever read, Temporary People is a powerful work of short stories about foreign nationals who populate the new economy in the United Arab Emirates. With inventive language and darkly satirical plot lines, Unnikrishnan provides an important view of relentless nature of a global economy and its brutal consequences for human lives. Prepare to be wowed by the immensely talented new voice.” —Hilary Gustafson, Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI) “Absolutely preposterous! As a debut, author Unnikrishnan shares stories of laborers, brought to the United Arab Emirates to do menial and everyday jobs. These people have no rights, no fallback if they have problems or health issues in that land. The laborers in Temporary People are sewn back together when they fall, are abandoned in the desert if they become inconvenient, and are even grown from seeds. As a collection of short stories, this is fantastical, imaginative, funny, and even more so, scary, powerful, and ferocious.” —Becky Milner, Vintage Books (Vancouver WA)