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The Inheritance of Loss

by

The Inheritance of Loss Cover

 

Awards

Winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize
Winner of the 2007 National Book Critics Circle fiction award

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the author of Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard comes a masterpiece set in a corner of the Himalayas where a rising insurgency challenges the old way of life — Kiran Desai's new novel about belonging and estrangement, exile and homecoming, is rich and infinitely wise.

Published to unanimous acclaim in over twenty-two countries, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard announced the arrival of a stunning new voice and was, according to Salman Rushdie, "welcome proof that India's encounter with the English language continues to give birth to new children, endowed with lavish gifts."

Now Kiran Desai takes us to the northeastern Himalayas where in a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga lives an embittered old judge who wants to retire in peace when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge's chatty cook watches over her, but his thoughts are mostly with his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one miserable New York restaurant to another, trying to stay a step ahead of the INS and forced to consider his country's relationship with the wider world.

When a Nepalese insurgency in the mountains threatens Sai's new-sprung romance with her handsome Nepali tutor and causes their lives to descend into chaos, they, too, are forced to confront their colliding interests. The nation fights itself. The cook witnesses the hierarchy being overturned and discarded. The judge must revisit his past, his own journey and role in this grasping world of conflicting desires — every moment holding out the possibility for hope or betrayal.

A story of such depth and emotion, hilarity and imagination, Desai's second, long-awaited novel fulfills the grand promise established by her first.

Review:

"This stunning second novel from Desai (Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard) is set in mid-1980s India, on the cusp of the Nepalese movement for an independent state. Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired Cambridge-educated judge, lives in Kalimpong, at the foot of the Himalayas, with his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, and his cook. The makeshift family's neighbors include a coterie of Anglophiles who might be savvy readers of V.S. Naipaul but who are, perhaps, less aware of how fragile their own social standing is — at least until a surge of unrest disturbs the region. Jemubhai, with his hunting rifles and English biscuits, becomes an obvious target. Besides threatening their very lives, the revolution also stymies the fledgling romance between 16-year-old Sai and her Nepalese tutor, Gyan. The cook's son, Biju, meanwhile, lives miserably as an illegal alien in New York. All of these characters struggle with their cultural identity and the forces of modernization while trying to maintain their emotional connection to one another. In this alternately comical and contemplative novel, Desai deftly shuttles between first and third worlds, illuminating the pain of exile, the ambiguities of post-colonialism and the blinding desire for a 'better life,' when one person's wealth means another's poverty. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Kiran Desai's second novel tackles the lingering effects of colonialism on two kinds of South Asian people: those who attempt to leave India and those who remain. Set in 1986 in Kalimpong — a Himalayan town in India's northeastern corner — as well as in New York, the book details the beginning stages of a love affair. Here and there it unleashes some moments of bleak comedy, but the sweet-natured... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Kiran Desai's extraordinary new novel manages to explore...just about every contemporary international issue: globalization, multiculturalism, economic inequality, fundamentalism and terrorist violence. Despite being set in the mid-1980's, it seems the best kind of post-9/11 novel." New York Times

Review:

"This story of exiles at home and abroad...is one of the most impressive novels in English of the past year, and I predict you'll read it almost as Sai read her Bronte, with your heart in your chest, inside the narrative, and the narrative inside you." Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Wise, insightful and full of wonderfully compelling and conflicted characters....With its razor insights and emotional scope, The Inheritance of Loss amplifies a developing and formidable voice." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Briskly paced and sumptuously written, the novel ponders questions of nationhood, modernity, and class, in ways both moving and revelatory." New Yorker

Review:

"Desai shed light on the tribulations of all Indians abroad....The passages about life in India are especially evocative, capturing the interplay between the country's politics and people's lives." Time Out

Review:

"Desai's strength lies in her ability to capture, with humor and grace, the nuanced complexities of the characters and their times....[A novel] that brings both caring and understanding." Denver Post

Review:

"Shimmering with honesty and humanity....This novel is finely accomplished." Seattle Times

Review:

"Ambitious....The book's magic lies in such rich images as an Indian judge wearing a 'silly white wig atop a dark face in the burning heat of summer." Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"The story ricochets between the two worlds, held together by Desai's sharp eyes and even sharper tongue." San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"If book reviews just cut to the chase, this one would simply read: This is a terrific novel! Read it!" The Boston Globe

Review:

"[T]he final scene treats the heart to one last moment of wild, comic joy — even as it satisfies the head by refusing to relinquish the dark reality that is the life of its characters." Christian Science Monitor

Synopsis:

A brilliant family saga and a story of cultural dislocation, exile and homecoming that will appeal to fans of Zadie Smith and Hari Kunzru. 'Briskly paced and sumptuously written' "New Yorker"

About the Author

Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. Educated in India, England, and the United States, she received her MFA from Columbia.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780241143483
Publisher:
Libri

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Inheritance of Loss
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details pages Libri - English 9780241143483 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This stunning second novel from Desai (Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard) is set in mid-1980s India, on the cusp of the Nepalese movement for an independent state. Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired Cambridge-educated judge, lives in Kalimpong, at the foot of the Himalayas, with his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, and his cook. The makeshift family's neighbors include a coterie of Anglophiles who might be savvy readers of V.S. Naipaul but who are, perhaps, less aware of how fragile their own social standing is — at least until a surge of unrest disturbs the region. Jemubhai, with his hunting rifles and English biscuits, becomes an obvious target. Besides threatening their very lives, the revolution also stymies the fledgling romance between 16-year-old Sai and her Nepalese tutor, Gyan. The cook's son, Biju, meanwhile, lives miserably as an illegal alien in New York. All of these characters struggle with their cultural identity and the forces of modernization while trying to maintain their emotional connection to one another. In this alternately comical and contemplative novel, Desai deftly shuttles between first and third worlds, illuminating the pain of exile, the ambiguities of post-colonialism and the blinding desire for a 'better life,' when one person's wealth means another's poverty. Agent, Michael Carlisle. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Kiran Desai's extraordinary new novel manages to explore...just about every contemporary international issue: globalization, multiculturalism, economic inequality, fundamentalism and terrorist violence. Despite being set in the mid-1980's, it seems the best kind of post-9/11 novel."
"Review" by , "This story of exiles at home and abroad...is one of the most impressive novels in English of the past year, and I predict you'll read it almost as Sai read her Bronte, with your heart in your chest, inside the narrative, and the narrative inside you."
"Review" by , "Wise, insightful and full of wonderfully compelling and conflicted characters....With its razor insights and emotional scope, The Inheritance of Loss amplifies a developing and formidable voice."
"Review" by , "Briskly paced and sumptuously written, the novel ponders questions of nationhood, modernity, and class, in ways both moving and revelatory."
"Review" by , "Desai shed light on the tribulations of all Indians abroad....The passages about life in India are especially evocative, capturing the interplay between the country's politics and people's lives."
"Review" by , "Desai's strength lies in her ability to capture, with humor and grace, the nuanced complexities of the characters and their times....[A novel] that brings both caring and understanding."
"Review" by , "Shimmering with honesty and humanity....This novel is finely accomplished."
"Review" by , "Ambitious....The book's magic lies in such rich images as an Indian judge wearing a 'silly white wig atop a dark face in the burning heat of summer."
"Review" by , "The story ricochets between the two worlds, held together by Desai's sharp eyes and even sharper tongue."
"Review" by , "If book reviews just cut to the chase, this one would simply read: This is a terrific novel! Read it!"
"Review" by , "[T]he final scene treats the heart to one last moment of wild, comic joy — even as it satisfies the head by refusing to relinquish the dark reality that is the life of its characters."
"Synopsis" by , A brilliant family saga and a story of cultural dislocation, exile and homecoming that will appeal to fans of Zadie Smith and Hari Kunzru. 'Briskly paced and sumptuously written' "New Yorker"

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