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The Grammarian

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The Grammarian Cover

ISBN13: 9781619022799
ISBN10: 1619022796
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the fall of 1911, Alexandre Lautens, an ambitious French philologist, sweeps into a remote part of India to study the Telugu language. Hosted by a local wealthy landowner and his family, Lautens arrives at a moment of change for the Adivis: Mohini, the younger and strikingly beautiful daughter is about to marry, an act which will inevitably condem her older sister, who suffers from being plain and disfigured, to spinsterhood.

Intellectually curious by nature, the elder sister Anjali is beguiled by Lautens, and as they find an intimacy within language, an unexpected relationship develops. After Anjali confesses that her disfigurement – a lasting injury from polio – has kept her from swimming since her childhood, Lautens surprises her with a trip to the beach. Regardless of what might have happened between them, Adivi is outraged when he hears word of their outing. Thinking his daughter a tramp and Lautens a predator, both are swiftly kicked out, left to fend for themselves—separately—as they try to navigate what really happened.

About the Author

Annapurna Potluri was born and raised in Portland, Oregon and moved to New York to attend New York University where she studied comparative literature and linguistics. She then earned an MPhil in theoretical linguistics from Cambridge University. She has lived in Italy and India and is currently working at the South Asia Institute at Columbia University.

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writermala, September 14, 2014 (view all comments by writermala)
This novel captures the essence of the early twentieth Century India, still under British rule. Alexandre Lautens a linguist and philologist from Paris arrives in the small town of Waltair in South India to perfect his knowledge of Telugu and write a grammar book. He gets mired in the social nuances of the family life of his hosts, the Adivis and unknowingly offends them. The elder Adivi daughter, Anjali, is the main female character and the author has portrayed her feelings really well. Also a strong character is the grandmother, Kanakadurga amma garu. Alexandre conveys his opinion of language in one important sentence in the book: "Perhaps, like fear, or love, language is an instinct not a skill." I enjoyed reading this book very much.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781619022799
Author:
Potluri, Annapurna
Publisher:
Counterpoint LLC
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20140131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Grammarian New Trade Paper
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