The Gurkha's Daughter by Prajwal Parajuly

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Crisp, inventive and insightful, The Gurkha's Daughter paints an almost irreducibly plural picture, but exodus to the west is a shaping theme.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A number one bestseller in India and a shortlisted nomination for the Dylan Thomas Prize, The Gurkha's Daughter is a distinctive debut from a rising star in South Asian literature. This collection of stories captures the textures and sounds of the Nepalese diaspora through eight intimate, nuanced portraits, taking us from the hillside city of Darjeeling, India to a tucked away Nepalese restaurant in New York City.
The daily struggles of Parajuly's characters reveal histories of war, colonial occupation, religious division, systemized oppression, and dispossession in the diverse geographical intersection of India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, and China. In a cruel remark by a wealthy doctor to her tenant shopkeeper, we hear the persistent injustice of the caste system; in the contentious relationship between a wealthy widow and her sister-in-law, we glimpse the restricted lives and submissive social roles of Nepalese women; and in a daughter's relationship with her father, we find a dissonance between modernity and tradition that has echoed through the generations in unexpected ways.
Across different ethnicities, religions, and other social distinctions, the characters in these share a universal yearning, not just for survival but for a better life; one with love, dignity, and community. In The Gurkha's Daughter, Parajuly reveals the small acts of bravery--the sustaining, driving hope--that bind together the human experience.
 

About Prajwal Parajuly

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Prajwal Parajuly, the son of an Indian father and a Nepalese mother, divides his time between New York and Oxford, England, but disappears to Gangtok, his hometown in the Indian Himalayas, at every opportunity. Parts of The Gurkha's Daughter were written while he was a writer-in-residence at Truman State University, in Kirksville, Missouri.
 
Published January 3, 2013 by riverrun. 272 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Guardian

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Reviewed by John Garth on Jan 25 2013

Crisp, inventive and insightful, The Gurkha's Daughter paints an almost irreducibly plural picture, but exodus to the west is a shaping theme.

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