Synopses & Reviews
“Just then, Rahul saw a spot of yellow far away. . . .The yellow glowed beautifully in the morning light. There was something different about this particular yellow. This one entered through his eyes, dissolved in his blood, and went straight to his heart.” Uday Prakash’s novel of contemporary India is a tender love story—university student Rahul is swept away by a “sweet fever” of love for Anjali, the enchanting girl with the golden parasol. But Prakash’s tale is set in a world where the 3,000-year-old Hindu caste system still holds sway and social realities doom the chances of a non-Brahmin boy who loves a Brahmin girl. The Girl with the Golden Parasol is the first English translation of Prakash’s work to be published in the United States. His audacious novel captures the profound contradictions of India today, where the forces aligned against change outweigh even the power of love.
"Short fiction writer and documentary filmmaker Prakash's frenzied first novel skewers modern-day India's continuation of the caste system and society's complicity in the inequality and corruption it generates. When Rahul starts his second master's degree, things are already spiraling downward at the university. Local goondas regularly attack the students, robbing them every month and beating anyone who gets in the way. Rahul's growing disgust and fear is pierced by the appearance of Anjali Joshi, a late arrival at the university. Smitten instantly, Rahul switches to Anjali's master's program and does his best to woo her secretly, since she is of the highest caste while fending off the goondas and holding his own against the professors who play favorites. Rahul can't believe it when Anjali starts to notice him, but his joy is interrupted by the suicide of a good friend, more heinous attacks by the goondas, and blatant elitism among the university higher ups. Rahul must discover if Anjali's love is true enough to fight for when his future and even his life are on the line. Despite the novel's choppy execution and frequent rants, Rahul's passion for truth, justice, and Anjali make this story compelling. (May)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A novel of dauntless love, corruption, and the bitterness of the ancient caste system that prevails in contemporary India
This outstanding translation of Uday Prakashs audacious novel captures the profound contradictions within contemporary India, where the ancient caste system still holds sway and overrules even the power of love.
About the Author
Uday Prakash is the author of poems, short stories, non-fiction, films, and documentaries. In 2010 he received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi literary award in India. He is professor-in-charge, Department of Mass Communication, Media, and Journalism, Indira Gandhi Tribal University, Amarkantak. He lives in Ghaziabad, India. Jason Grunebaum is a fiction writer and translator. He has been awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship and a PEN Translation Fund grant. He is senior lecturer in Hindi, University of Chicago.