The Guru of Love by Samrat Upadhyay
A Novel

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Synopsis

Writing of Samrat Upadhyay’s debut story collection, critics raved: “like a Buddhist Chekhov . . . speak[s] to common truths . . . startlingly good” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “subtle and spiritually complex” (New York Times). Upadhyay’s first novel showcases his finest writing and his signature themes. The Guru of Love is a moving and important story — important for what it illuminates about the human need to love as well as lust, and for the light it shines on the political situation in Nepal and elsewhere.
Ramchandra is a math teacher earning a low wage and living in a small apartment with his wife and two children. Moonlighting as a tutor, he engages in an illicit affair with one of his tutees, Malati, a beautiful, impoverished young woman who is also a new mother. She provides for him what his wife, who comes from a privileged background, does not: desire, mystery, and a simpler life. Complicating matters are various political concerns and a small city bursting with the conflicts of modernization, a static government, and a changing population. Just as the city must contain its growing needs, so must Ramchandra learn to accommodate both tradition and his very modern desires.
Absolutely absorbing yet deceptively simple, this novel cements Upadhyay’s emerging status as one of our most exciting new writers.
 

About Samrat Upadhyay

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SAMRAT UPADHYAY is the author of Arresting God in Kathmandu, which earned him a Whiting Award, and The Guru of Love, which was a New York Times Notable Book, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year, a finalist for the Kiriyama Prize, and a Book Sense 76 pick. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and teaches creative writing and literature at Indiana University.
 
Published February 1, 2013 by Mariner Books. 310 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Guru of Love

Kirkus Reviews

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Although Ramchandra loves his children dearly, his domestic life is bleak (with a distant, unloving wife) and he’s unhappy with his career (the state school system in Nepal pays badly and is rife with favoritism and corruption)—the perfect mix of conditions for a midlife crisis.

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Publishers Weekly

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Set in Kathmandu against a background of political upheaval, Upadhyay's debut novel (following the acclaimed short story collection Arresting God in Kathmandu) is stunning in its simplicity and emotional resonance.

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Entertainment Weekly

My history is this forsaken country's history.'' In Samrat Upadhyay's minimally embellished debut novel, The Guru of Love, the story of a married Nepali math tutor in love with his student, is poignantly linked to the unstable political climate of Nepal, a country torn between tradition and mode...

Feb 14 2003 | Read Full Review of The Guru of Love: A Novel

Spirituality & Practice

Ramchandra's long-suffering wife comes up with a unique and, in the long run, healing and helpful solution to the affair.

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India Today

Yet, what is lost sight of in these dramatic portrayals is that Nepal, like all south Asian countries, not only possesses a sane and sizeable intellectual class but also a politically informed populace - and nowhere more so than in Kathmandu where Samrat Upadhyay's first novel is set.

Feb 10 2003 | Read Full Review of The Guru of Love: A Novel

Time Magazine

Upadhyay paints Ramchandra's fevered befuddlement perfectly as he tries to think through the unthinkable: "He had an urge to walk toward Tangal, knock on Malati's door and tell her not to come to his house anymore, that he could no longer tutor her.

Mar 09 2003 | Read Full Review of The Guru of Love: A Novel

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