Clear Light of Day: A Novel

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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: A “rich, Chekhovian novel” about family and forgiveness from the acclaimed author of Fire on the Mountain (The New Yorker).
 
At the heart of this “wonderful” novel are the moving relationships between the estranged members of the Das family (The Washington Post Book World). Bimla is a dissatisfied but ambitious teacher at a women’s college who lives in her childhood home, where she cares for her mentally challenged brother, Baba. Tara is her younger, unambitious sister, married and with children of her own. Raja is their popular, brilliant, and successful brother. When Tara returns for a visit with Bimla and Baba, old memories and tensions resurface, blending into a domestic drama that leads to beautiful and profound moments of self-understanding.
 
Set in the vividly portrayed environs of Old Delhi, “Clear Light of Day does what only the very best novels can do: it totally submerges us. It also takes us so deeply into another world that we almost fear we won’t be able to climb out again” (The New York Times Book Review).
 
“Passages must be read and reread so that you savor their imagery, their language, and their wisdom.” —The Washington Post Book World
 
“[A] thoroughly universal tale of unhealable family hurts . . . Distinctively shaded with enticing glimpses of India’s Hindu middle-class in shabby decline.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
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About the author

Anita Desai is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner’s Bombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
May 13, 2014
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Pages
192
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ISBN
9780547526294
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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In one of Jim Harrison’s greatest works, five members of the Northridge family narrate the tangled epic of their history on the Nebraska plains.
 
The Road Home continues the story of the captivating heroine Dalva and her peculiar and remarkable family. It encompasses the voices of Dalva’s grandfather John Northridge, the austere, hard-living half-Sioux patriarch; Naomi, the widow of his favorite son and namesake; Paul, the first Northridge son, who lived in the shadow of his brother; and Nelse, the son taken from Dalva at birth, who now has returned to find her. It is haunted by the hovering spirits of the father and the lover Dalva lost to this country’s wars. It is a family history drenched in suffering and joy, imbued with fierce independence and love, rooted in the Nebraska soil, and intertwined with the destiny of whites and native Americans in the American West.
 
Epic in scope, stretching from the close of the nineteenth century to the present day, The Road Home is a stunning and trenchant novel, written with the humor, humanity, and inimitable evocation of the American spirit that have delighted Jim Harrison’s legion of fans.
 
“A graceful novel . . . To read this book is to feel the luminosity of nature in one’s own being.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
“The Road Home confirms what his longtime fans already know: Harrison is on the short list of American literary masters.” —The Denver Post
 
“Demonstrates why [Harrison] is considered one of the best storytellers around.” —The Washington Post
 
“The Road Home is Harrison at the peak of his powers, a splendid combined prequel and sequel . . . very much alive and probably his best novel.” —Boston Sunday Herald
A beautiful and poignant story of one family during the most violent and turbulent years of world history, Miss Burma is a powerful novel of love and war, colonialism and ethnicity, and the ties of blood.

Miss Burma tells the story of modern-day Burma through the eyes of Benny and Khin, husband and wife, and their daughter Louisa. After attending school in Calcutta, Benny settles in Rangoon, then part of the British Empire, and falls in love with Khin, a woman who is part of a long-persecuted ethnic minority group, the Karen. World War II comes to Southeast Asia, and Benny and Khin must go into hiding in the eastern part of the country during the Japanese Occupation, beginning a journey that will lead them to change the country’s history. After the war, the British authorities make a deal with the Burman nationalists, led by Aung San, whose party gains control of the country. When Aung San is assassinated, his successor ignores the pleas for self-government of the Karen people and other ethnic groups, and in doing so sets off what will become the longest-running civil war in recorded history. Benny and Khin’s eldest child, Louisa, has a danger-filled, tempestuous childhood and reaches prominence as Burma’s first beauty queen soon before the country falls to dictatorship. As Louisa navigates her newfound fame, she is forced to reckon with her family’s past, the West’s ongoing covert dealings in her country, and her own loyalty to the cause of the Karen people.

Based on the story of the author’s mother and grandparents, Miss Burma is a captivating portrait of how modern Burma came to be and of the ordinary people swept up in the struggle for self-determination and freedom.
My name is Layla and I was born under an unlucky star. For a young girl growing up in India, this is bad news. But everything began to change for me one spring day in 1943, when three unconnected incidents, like tiny droplets on a lily leaf, tipped and rolled into one. It was that tiny shift in the cosmos, I believe, that tipped us together—me and Manik Deb.

Layla Roy has defied the fates. Despite being born under an inauspicious horoscope, she is raised to be educated and independent by her eccentric grandfather, Dadamoshai. And, by cleverly manipulating the hand fortune has dealt her, she has even found love with Manik Deb—a man betrothed to another. All were minor miracles in India that spring of 1943, when young women's lives were predetermined—if not by the stars, then by centuries of family tradition and social order.

Layla's life as a newly married woman takes her away from home and into the jungles of Assam, where the world's finest tea thrives on plantations run by native labor and British efficiency. Fascinated by this culture of whiskey-soaked expats who seem fazed by neither earthquakes nor man-eating leopards, she struggles to find her place among the prickly English wives with whom she is expected to socialize, and the peculiar servants she now finds under her charge.

But navigating the tea-garden set will hardly be her biggest challenge. Layla's remote home is not safe from the powerful changes sweeping India on the heels of the Second World War. Their colonial society is at a tipping point, and Layla and Manik find themselves caught in a perilous racial divide that threatens their very lives.
The beloved debut novel about an affluent Indian family forever changed by one fateful day in 1969, from the author of The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • MAN BOOKER PRIZE WINNER

Compared favorably to the works of Faulkner and Dickens, Arundhati Roy’s modern classic is equal parts powerful family saga, forbidden love story, and piercing political drama. The seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing “big things [that] lurk unsaid” in a country drifting dangerously toward unrest. Lush, lyrical, and unnerving, The God of Small Things is an award-winning landmark that started for its author an esteemed career of fiction and political commentary that continues unabated.

Praise for The God of Small Things

“Dazzling . . . as subtle as it is powerful.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“[The God of Small Things] offers such magic, mystery, and sadness that, literally, this reader turned the last page and decided to reread it. Immediately. It’s that haunting.”—USA Today

“The quality of Ms. Roy’s narration is so extraordinary—at once so morally strenuous and so imaginatively supple—that the reader remains enthralled all the way through.”—The New York Times Book Review

“A novel of real ambition must invent its own language, and this one does.”—John Updike, The New Yorker

“Outstanding. A glowing first novel.”—Newsweek

“Splendid and stunning.”—The Washington Post Book World
A young American in Mexico discovers his family’s past—and a present-day danger—in this “elegant, exquisite” novel of suspense (Elle).
 
Eric is a newly minted historian just out of graduate school, plagued by self-doubt over both his past choices and his future options. With no clear direction, he follows his lover, Em, when she travels to the Yucatan for her scientific research, but ends up alone in this foreign place. And so he pursues his own private quest, tracing his family’s history to a Mexican ghost town, where, a hundred years earlier, young Cornish miners—among them Eric’s grandparents—toiled to the death.
 
Now, in place of the Cornish workers, the native Huichol Indians suffer the cruelty of the mines. When he inquires into their lives, Eric provokes the ire of their self-appointed savior, Dona Vera. Known as the “Queen of the Sierra,” Dona Vera is the widow of a mining baron who has dedicated her fortune to preserving the Huichol culture. But her formidable presence belies a dubious past.
 
The zigzag paths of these characters converge on the Day of the Dead, bringing together past and present in a moment of powerful epiphany. Haunting and atmospheric, with splashes of exuberant color and darker violence, The Zigzag Way is “a beautifully rendered combination of history, folklore, and modern fiction” (Entertainment Weekly), from a Booker Prize finalist.
 
“Long before Jhumpa Lahiri . . . long before Monica Ali . . . another novelist was offering us exquisitely detailed portraits of bodies in transit [and] classes in the art of sly and sensuous fiction . . . Anita Desai was a global, migrant writer before such a thing was fashionable.” —Time
 
“Almost unbearably suspenseful.” —The Boston Globe
 
“A hypnotic journey.” —San Jose Mercury News
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