17 January, 2021

Out Of The Family Line

A resonant quest for identity

Out Of The Family Line
WITH ideological boundaries blurring and political correctness stifling artistic licence in turn-of-the-century India, it is perhaps inevitable that new fiction increasingly focuses on ever-contracting universes, often limited to the domestic circle. Mandal and Manmohan-provoked social upheavals and post-modern suspicions of kaleidoscoping the times are deftly sidestepped as one's family becomes the battleground in a confessional narrative. So it is with Kavery Nambisan's mesmerisingly written coming-of-age novel, which weaves the beauty myth, the hollowness of upper-middle-class ambitions, the elusive pursuit for meaning, the transformational Dark Secret into a beguilingly sparse framework.

A squidgy-waisted daughter of a dulcet-voiced beauty, Shari has always felt like "the stitch that slipped out of a cosy pattern". Her Family is a veritable paragon of the Saturday morning glossies, Shari has no desire to excel and finds bliss in slipshod attire; her Family gazes at distant Delhi for role models and is ashamed of being Tamilian, she finds...



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