Sunday, February 25, 2007

The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

Winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Melancholy.

This book is aptly titled. All of the characters struggle with difficult circumstances and these struggles are portrayed in a way which is riveting. The novel takes place alternately in India and in New York City and deals with people who hail from a multi-generational history of loss.

In this way, it is disheartening.

And yet,

There are glimpses of joy. Amidst all the struggle, there are uplifting moments.

I come away, depressed by the intractability of the poverty, the culpability of the players in their circumstances, the conspiracy of history and colonialism but also encouraged by the human skill and desire to survive, to find solace and comfort in the small details even while the big picture seems overwhelming.

See also: The Christian Science Monitor's review which provides more details regarding the plot itself.

There's also an interesting video of Kiran Desai speaking on this book at Meet the Author.

1 comment:

Susan Kelly said...

When I saw she won the Booker Prize, I decided I should read this. I will -- eventually.