The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

it is a superb day for a blanket and a good book. since school was canceled because of the rare appearance of snow in arkansas, i spent nearly two hours in the tub this morning finishing the inheritance of loss which i started over christmas. i don’t know why it took me so long to finish, possibly because the stories, though intertwined, have their own beginnings and endings. the narrative bounces back and forth between india and new york city. lilting and sad. as one of the characters points out, sadness can be claustrophobic, which is maybe why i took so long to read it.

even though the stories center on a handful of seemingly random individuals who are loosely connected to one another, they are backdropped by both the historical setting of india and the predicaments of illegal immigrants in the u.s. and england. it is amazing actually how many grand issues of the world the author manages to address through the lives of this cluster of common folk.

about a demonstration turned riot where several young boys die senselessly, desai writes,

This was how history moved, the slow build, the quick burn, and in an incoherence, the leaping both backward and forward, swallowing the young into old hate. The space between life and death, in the end, too small to measure.

it is fascinating to me how many different political upheavals all over the world could be described with her words, including the recent turmoil in kenya.

many gorgeous descriptions. i have an exact picture in my mind of where sai waited longingly for life to happen and to where biju wanted to return. both sai and biju will be hard to give up. after having lived with them for several months now, i have these sweet ones who inherited so much brokenness in my heart.

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