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The House of Blue Mangoesby David Davidar
Synopses & Reviews
The House of Blue Mangoes tells the story of the Dorai family in south India during a time of tremendous political and social upheaval. The novel opens in 1899 with the patriarch Solomon Dorai — the headman of the picturesque village of Chevathar — contemplating the imminent destruction of his world and everything he holds dear. The decisions he makes to avert the catastrophe that threatens the village will mark the family for generations to come.
Sophisticated, filled with brilliant historical and emotional insight, enlivened by touches of humor and deeply felt tragedy that draw on the author's own family history, The House of Blue Mangoes is a gripping family chronicle, a stark indictment of colonialism, and a stunning account of a culture under assault by modernity.
"Davidar brings to life early 20th-century India with his vivid details of cuisine, weddings, epic tales, travel, and gender roles and his filtering of world events through the characters' experiences. Though the flow of the narrative is uneven at times, the Dorais and their exploits make for interesting reading." Library Journal
"A skilled and charming if conventional storyteller, Davidar works on a panoramic scale not unlike that of James Michener as he dramatizes conflicts over caste, religion, race, imperialism, and the status of women, and depicts everything from mango and tea growing to siddha medicine, riots, and weddings, in this enormously appealing and welcoming novel." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"The House of Blue Mangoes" tells the story of the Dorai family in south India during a time of tremendous political and social upheaval. Sophisticated and filled with brilliant historical and emotional insight, it is enlivened by touches of humor and deeply felt tragedy that draw on the author's own family history.
In 1899, in the south Indian village of Chevathar, Solomon Dorai is contemplating the imminent destruction of his world and everything he holds dear. As the thalaivar, or headman, of Chevathar, he seeks to preserve the village from both catastrophe and change, and the decisions he makes will mark his family for generations to come.
A gripping family chronicle, The House of Blue Mangoes spans nearly half a century and three generations of the Dorai family as they search for their place in a rapidly changing society. The novel brings vividly to life a small corner of India, while offering a stark indictment of colonialism and reflecting with great poignancy on the inexorable social transformations of the subcontinent.
About the Author
David Davidar began his career in Journalism and now works In publishing. He is married and lives in New Delhli.
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