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The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
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The Inheritance of Loss (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Kiran Desai

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5,457165793 (3.43)1 / 500
Member:PaperbackPirate
Title:The Inheritance of Loss
Authors:Kiran Desai
Info:Grove/Atlantic (2006), Mass Market Paperback, 357 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
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The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai (2005)

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English (157)  Finnish (1)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (163)
Showing 1-5 of 157 (next | show all)
This novel is set in a crumbling grand house in the hills below Kangchenjunga and this is the permanent and un-moving object in the novel, while all around there is change. The novel covers poverty and wealth and inequality both in India and in the US, where the cook's son emigrates illegally to and who then has a series of exploitative jobs in the grey areas of employment and abused by employers. In India there is constant loss of dignity, of love, of possessions and freedom. This is a bleak novel that was difficult to read. ( )
  Tifi | Aug 1, 2016 |
Mount Kanchenjunga is in the Northeastern Himalayas and in this remote area lives a retired judge from the Indian Civil Service. He believes he has retired to live in splendid isolation but his granddaughter Sai comes to live with him. Together and separately with all those around them, they experience every possible loss humanity is forced to endure; love, hope, peace, dignity, and respect. At the end, there is nothing left to lose. It was with some trepidation I began this book for I had to force myself to read that other Indian book “The God of Small Things.” However, those concerns vanished for I was immediate engaged in Kiran Desai’s rich, emotive writing. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
A beautifully written novel that I found disturbing in it's reality. Napal and India are described as a dirty place with stench, cockroaches ,mud and poverty. The comparison is always made between the British and the Indians. Biju escapes from poverty in India to NYC where he just exchanges his poverty to there. Which is better ?, We meet cook Biju's father who is little better than a slave who lives for his son to free him, his son who will become rich in America. Cook works for the judge who did get educated in England to become a civil servant but could not handle the different culture and returns to abuse a young wife and become a ruin. he has to take in his grandaughter Sai who is a product of a duel India, somewhat Indian, somewhat British. She asks the tough questions. Al this set in a background of poverty vs weath, insurgance, immigration and it makes for a weighty novel. ( )
  Smits | May 13, 2016 |
One can enjoy this book only he knows India and its culture. Very nice narration... worth reading.. ( )
  PallaviSharma | May 9, 2016 |
This is Desai’s debut novel and she was awarded the Man Booker Prize for it. The story revolves around two sets of “parents” – The judge, an English-educated Indian, and his equally-educated granddaughter, Sai; the cook, a virtually illiterate servant of the judge and his son, Biju, who has gone to America to seek his fortune. The setting is northeastern India and the time is civil war and the ethnic cleansing among warring factions. There is so much “loss” passed from generation to generation … loss of culture, of ethnic identity, of opportunity, of love, of respect, of class, of illusion. Was Desai saying that we “cannot” go home again, or that we “should not” go home again?

A very thought provoking work, but I’m not sure to whom I’d recommend it. It’s not a fast or easy book to read. The plot doesn’t carry you along and it is bleak in places. Yet the writing is beautiful and, especially on giving it some thought, I really appreciate the book. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 12, 2016 |
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kiran Desaiprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lai, Chin-YeeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Boast of Quietness

Writings of light assault the darkness, more prodigious than meteors.

The tall unknowable city takes over the countryside.

Sure of my life and my death, I observe the ambitious and would like to understand them.

Their day is greedy as a lariat in the air.

Their night is a rest from the rage within steel, quick to attack.

They speak of humanity.

My humanity is in feeling we are all voices of the same poverty.

They speak of homeland.

My homeland is the rhythm of a guitar, a few portraits, an old sword, the willow grove's visible prayer as evening falls.

Time is living me.

More silent than my shadow, I pass through the loftily covetous multitude.

They are indispensable, singular, worthy of tomorrow.

My name is someone and anyone.

I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn't expect to arrive.

-Jorge Luis Borges
Dedication
To my mother with so much love
First words
All day, the colours had been those of dusk, mist moving like a water creature across the great flanks of mountains possessed of ocean shadows and depths.
Quotations
An accident, they said, and there was nobody to blame - it was just fate in the way fate has of providing the destitute with a greater quota of accidents for which nobody can be blamed.
Just ordinary humans in ordinary opaque boiled-egg light, without grace, without revelation, composite of contradictions, easy principles, arguing about what they half believed in or even what they didn't believe in at all, desiring comfort as much as raw austerity, authenticity as much as playacting, desiring coziness of family as much as to abandon it forever.
...and he felt a flash of jealousy as do friends when they lose another to love, especially those who have understood that friendship is enough, steadier, healthier, easier on the heart. Something that always added and never took away. (Ch 39)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802142818, Paperback)

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:56 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judgeʾs cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desaiʾs brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world. Winner of 2006 Man Booker Prize.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141027282, 0141399368

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