The Assassins Song opens in the 1960s in a village in Western India, the site of the thirteenth-century Sufi shrine of Pirbaag. Karsan Dargawalla is next in line after his father to assume the lordship of the shrine. But Karsan longs to be just ordinaryto be a great cricketer and play for his country and, at the urging of a truck driver, to learn more and more about the world. In secret he applies to go to Harvard, and when he is accepted, he cant resist the opportunitythough this means profound disappointment for his father and heartbreak for his mother. Soon the intellectual excitement and discoveries of his new life compel him to abdicate his succession to the throne. But even as he succeeds in his ordinary life becoming a professor, marrying and having a son, leading a charmed suburban existence in British Columbia his heritage continues to haunt him. Finally when a personal tragedy strikes in Canada, and Pirbaag is devastated by communal violence, he is drawn back across thirty years of separation and silence to discover what, if anything, is left for him in India.
Click to the right or left of the sample to turn the page.
(If no book jacket appears in a few seconds, then we don't have an excerpt of this book or your browser is unable to display it)
"Frequent shifts in time and perspective (including flashes of the shrine's early history) heighten Vassanji's evocative depiction of India's ongoing postcolonial tumult, mournfully personalized by the fate of the fractured family at the novel's heart." - PW.
"There are no passages of poetic flourishes, and a reader might pause here and there, not to admire the language but to absorb a simple truth, simply stated." - The Washington Post.
"Another fine, though imperfect novel from an intelligent and inventive storyteller." - Kirkus Reviews.
"Starred Review. Richly detailed and socially astute, this is an exceptionally sensitive novel of violent conflicts and private suffering, emotional verity and metaphysical yearning." - Booklist.
The information about The Assassin's Song shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Vassanji has won the Canadian Giller Prize twice with The Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall. He was born in Kenya and raised in Tanzania. Before coming to Canada in 1978, he attended MIT and the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in theoretical nuclear physics. His wife, Nurjehan, was born in Tanzania. They have two sons, Anil, and Kabir. He lives in Toronto, and visits Africa and India often.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.