26 January, 2021

Grappling With The Past

An expat writer's latest book about Japanese war crimes creates waves in the West

Grappling With The Past

NOVELIST Meira Chand is no stranger to India. Born in 1942 to an Indian father and a Swiss mother, and educated in London—she now lives in Japan—Chand acutely felt the growing pangs of alienation, lost identity and severed roots ever since she can remember. And she puts down all her experiences and more in her books. On a comeback trail after 10 years, Chand's sixth and latest novel, A Choice of Evils, is already creating waves, making her one of the frontliners of Asians writing in English.

For A Choice of Evils—published by Wiedenfield and Nicolson of the Orion Publishing Group—Chand uses the backdrop of the Japanese occupation of China, from the 1930s to the end of World War II. It has whipped up a great deal of interest in Europe and Asia because of the recent reexamination of Japanese atrocities committed during the war. And the British press has also taken notice of it. The Times, London, called it "a marvellously researched and impressively well-written novel". Time Out magazine was equally generous: "Thorough in its...



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