04 December, 2020

Treetop Escapades

A hilarious and affectionate evocation of small-town India

Treetop Escapades
ENDORSED by Salman Rushdie, excerpted in the New Yorker, heralded as a member of India's first literary dynasty, guided by mother Anita Desai, wooed by publishers in more than a dozen countries...26-year-old Kiran Desai's literary debut has certainly created something of a hullabaloo. Fresh and funny, perceptive and vibrant, her book is a rollicking spoof on Indian society and its narrow concerns. Written with charming mischievousness, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard is imbued with an affectionate empathy for its characters without any damning, supercilious comment. As its author takes pains to emphasise, "I wanted to raise certain points, I did not want to make a point."

The central point is one that has exercised the minds of scholars and theologians alike: what goes into the making of a mystic? What happens when one is consumed by an extreme need for solitude? When the nitty-gritty of daily life gets a bit much for one's limited intellect and nonexistent ego? When one is overtaken by a mystical force to become part of something larger? Erstwhile, and extremely...



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