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The Inheritance of Loss Paperback – August 29, 2006
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
From The New Yorker
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Top Customer Reviews
But as I read on, I became increasingly frustrated with the one-sided view of a country I've come to know and love. Yes, India has what she portrays, but it has so much more. There is kindness and tenderness amidst the poverty and rage. There are people with next to nothing who will give what they have to help a stranger - gave what they had to help me. Generosity and kindness exist alongside the indignities she portrays. Why not show that balance? I felt at times she was trying so hard, wanting so badly to shock the reader with her tales of vermin and vomit. Yes, that's there too. But it is not at the heart of the matter, and I think Ms Desai has missed that point.
Finally, Ms Desai should fire her editor for the many anachronisms in the book. The 1985-6 was not the time of the Macarena, baggy pants on teenage boys, or the negative use of the term "PC" (politically correct), to name a few. All that came later. Add to that, it appears that no one proofread the last third of the book. This carelessness coincided with how the prose itself progressed. It started wonderfully, and slid like a Himalayan landslide into negativity and caracature. The ending was utterly pointless, and I was left with moments of brilliance that ultimately went nowhere.
The story of Sai, living in Kalimpong, near India's northeast border with Nepal, alternates with that of Biju, Nandu's son, an illegal immigrant trying to find work and a better life in New York. Biju, working in a series of deadend jobs, epitomizes the plight of the illegal immigrant who has no future in his own country and who endures deplorable conditions and semi-servitude working illegally in the US. As Desai explores the aspirations of Sai and Biju, the hopes and expectations of their families, and their disconnections with their roots, she also creates vivid pictures of the friends and relatives who surround them, evoking vibrant images of a broad cross-section of society and revealing the social and political history of India.
Though Sai's romance, at sixteen, with Gyan, her tutor, provides her with an emotional escape from Kalimpong, it soon becomes complicated by Gyan's involvement with the Gorkha National Liberation Federation, a Nepalese independence movement which quickly becomes violent.Read more ›
Luckily, the story isn't all grim. The author's eye for detail is extraordinary: small miracles appear on each page. The field of her prose is so studded with gems that one reads quite slowly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I listened to the book, did not read it. The reader was just right. I listened to each CD a few times to get the full flavor of it, and because there’s a lot going on. Read morePublished 24 days ago by an interested reader
i read it when it was published after a trip to india. it has stayed with me and some of the scenes are quietly searing.Published 1 month ago by Karen
Moments of beautiful writing and sense of place, but overall I found this book to be a slog. It could have been 150-200 pages shorter IMHO.Published 1 month ago by Donna
The UN Women/USNC Gulf Coast Book Club met on Monday, June 13,2016 to discuss The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Leita Kaldi Davis
The writing and the concepts are elegant and thought provoking. I just found myself getting so angry and frustrated with most of the characters. Read morePublished 3 months ago by willoughby
I read a sample and the writing was so beautiful I didn't bother to check the reviews. Big mistake! What a pointless depressing book. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Marcie Romano
Every now and again, I sought out my pencil so that I could copy salient, immense truths well told while I was reading "Inheritance of Loss". Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dorothy Shamah