Kiran Desai,The Inheritance of Loss and the insouciance of words
My first response was to fling to book aside at page 2.
The Inheritance of Loss/ Kiran-ben Desai
Despair, bleak, a sense of grief hopelessness seep through the flimsy illegit newsprint pages like the nonstop rain seeping through the wood at Cho Oyu in Kalimpong.
You take the reader down a ravine of grief, for heaven’s sake show a glimmer out, something anything how ever flimsy but no!
The cover is abstract pretty, but I’d put up there the leitmotif like a warning to timid souls, the ornate gates and pillars standing in the middle of nowhere with no walls to hold together- nothing left to hold together, nothing left to hide, all khatam but marching on nevertheless. How well we know that.
Ethical gujju that I am, must get the most bang for the buck and can’t possibly let the 25 bucks reading fee from my roadside library go waste--am I glad I persisted.
This is good. This is SO very good.
Very crisp writing, so many layers, all streaking dancing joyously across the storyboard canvas and blending seamlessly but yet separate-seperate.
She’s got a great story to tell, she has you caring for the characters, she has you opening up long shut and welded-sealed doors in your own past, she has you wringing your hands with ohmyGOD the sadness of it all,yet cheeky in your face hullo, what more can one ask for?
Envy her comfort with English. Not the Queen’s here for sure, put away that Wren and Martin, she takes her grammar and tweaks it around her little finger. She scatters it across the polished wooden surface and plays swift carom with the striker, and oh la! how I like that.
For a propah review: The Inheritance of Loss/ Reviewed by Pankaj Mishra for the NYT