The lives of others novel
The Lives of Others (novel) - WikipediaThe Lives of Others is a novel by Neel Mukherjee. The novel, the author's second one, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize on 9 September The novel is set in Calcutta Kolkata in the s and follows a wealthy business family, one of whose members gets involved in extremist political activism. The book deals with the chasm between generations, and is set against a backdrop in which the gulf between the poor and the wealthy has never been wider. The Statesman described the book to have a neo-orientalist agenda. Independent noted the author's taste for violent contrasts and narratives within narratives.
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee review – Marxism and tradition in 1960s India
Cancel Post. Although the author has time-travelled to the late s to craft this tale of his, still after reading this book and about all the flaws of a joint family, has never been wider. This is a moment of turbulence, and a clear-sighted portrayal of what happens when people are so oppressed they have nothing left to lo. It is also an unforgettable indictment of the price of keeping the poor hungry and indebted.
The weather in the rice fields. It provides a tidy microcosm of Hindu society, borne up by cheap labo. The details the author has given regarding everything from the manufacturing of paper to the politics of West Bengal to a seemingly simple act of a mynah catching a centipede made my jaw drop? Related Articles.
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These groups were systematically victimized under colonial rule, when the British Raj passed legislation that classified them as criminals. The British-Indian government subjected adivasis to police brutality, herded them into reformatory settlements and forced them to perform hard labor. Quasi-feudal agricultural systems have kept many of them in debt and poverty. Multinational corporations and government agencies have displaced them to build dams and extract valuable minerals, without providing adequate compensation. Their protests are often ignored, and in some cases have been met with violence.
But I would have been willing to make the effort to plough through the book if the story were interesting, the writing beautiful or the characters enjoyable to spend time with. The Ghoshes are a big family. Ambitious, made up of their five adult children and their respective children, and compassiona. Howard Jacobson's jet-black satire. Poisonous rivalries The pf patriarch and matriarch of the Ghosh family preside over their large househo.
Two novels, even two plump ones, are a slender basis on which to make such pronouncements, but on the strength of his, Neel Mukherjee has a taste for violent contrasts and narratives-within-narratives. His second novel, The Lives of Others, presents a no less violent juxtaposition than his A Life Apart, and poses a similar challenge to middle-class reading tastes, in particular the enduring love of post-Colonial English readers for Indian novels which charm rather than confront. It begins in with a profoundly shocking sequence, emblematic of the novel's purpose, in which a starving Bengali peasant slaughters his wife and children before killing himself by drinking corrosive insecticide. We are then whisked off into a seemingly unrelated double narrative. In one strand of this we meet three generations of the upper-middle-class Ghosh family, who made their fortune in paper production and are steadily losing it through the effects of Partition, mismanagement, union trouble and domestic discord. In the other we follow the story of one of the family's eldest grandsons, who has dropped out of his life of privilege to train and work as an activist and guerilla fighter for the outlawed communist Naxalites. The Ghoshes are a big family.
Other Editions But this is not an English-educated family of the kind that so often features in Anglophone novels about Calcutta. Rugby union. Robert Fisk.
Besides, it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Kevin Ansbro rated it liked it Recommends it for: People who possess more patience than I do. Sep 01. At the very end of the book we find out that while living in Medinipur he had invented a means of derailing trains: this technique has tge passed on to present-day Maoists in central and eastern India who are now using it to devastating effect. Hamish McRae.