From the book jacket:
Published to extraordinary acclaim, The
Inheritance of Loss
heralds Kiran Desai as one of our most insightful
novelists. She illuminates the pain of exile and the ambiguities of
postcolonialism with a tapestry of colorful characters: an embittered old judge;
Sai, his sixteen-year-old orphaned granddaughter; a chatty cook; and the cooks
son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one miserable New York restaurant to
another, trying to stay a step ahead of the INS.
When a Nepalese insurgency in the mountains threatens Sais new-sprung romance
with her handsome tutor, their lives descend into chaos. The cook witnesses
Indias hierarchy being overturned and discarded. The judge revisits his past
and his role in Sai and Bijus intertwining lives.
Set in the
Beyond the Book
Conflict in the 1980s:
The area around Darjeeling in North East India (map) is populated primarily
by Gorkhas (also known as Gurkhas) whose ancestors founded the Kingdom of Nepal;
they have long wanted an independent state. Massive violence broke out
between 1986 and 1988 but was resolved with the establishment of the Darjeeling
Gorkha Hill Council within West Bengal. Although some still push for
statehood rather than autonomy, it seems there is not the political will at this
time to press on. For example, there was a large rally in 2005 to revive
the demand for a separate state but the issue did not more forward.
take their name from the Hindu warrior-saint Guru Gorakhnath.
The Gurkhas are renowned for their...