The Inheritance of Loss


Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss tackles both colonial and postcolonial India as experienced by four characters now living in a misty Himalayan village in the 1980s: a retired Gujarati judge whose flashbacks to his Cambridge education in the 1930s reveal the roots of his self-loathing; his orphaned, teenage granddaughter, Sai; her tutor, Gyan, a member of the erupting Nepalese insurgency; and the judge’s elderly cook, who pines for his son living miserably as an illegal immigrant in NYC. The book’s magic lies in such rich images as an Indian judge wearing a ”silly white wig atop a dark face in the burning heat of summer.”

The Inheritance of Loss
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