The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
A Novel (Man Booker Prize)

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Synopsis

In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran Desai’s brilliant novel, published to huge acclaim, is a story of joy and despair. Her characters face numerous choices that majestically illuminate the consequences of colonialism as it collides with the modern world.
 

About Kiran Desai

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Kiran Desai was born in India in 1971 and educated in India, England, and the United States. She studied creative writing at Columbia University, where she was the recipient of a Woolrich fellowship. Her work has appeared in "The New Yorker" and Salman Rushdie's anthology Mirrorwork: Fifty Years of Indian Writing. In 2006 Desai won the Man Booker Prize for her novel The Inheritance of Loss.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 384 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Inheritance of Loss

Kirkus Reviews

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In a once-sturdy house in Kalimpong, in the spectacular Himalayan foothills, live an old judge, his dog and his 17-year-old granddaughter Sai;

Jan 09 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

The New York Times

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Exposure to the world has confused and humiliated the characters in Kiran Desai's novel.

Feb 12 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

The New York Times

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Exposure to the world has confused and humiliated the characters in Kiran Desai's novel.

Feb 12 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

The Guardian

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The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai Penguin £7.99 In the Himalayas, at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga, three people occupy a decaying house in an uneasy triangle of silence, disappointment, anxiety and reluctant co-operation: the retired judge, Jemubhai, happier in the company of his dog than...

May 27 2007 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

The Guardian

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The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai Hamish Hamilton £16.99, pp336 Sai lives with her grandfather, a former judge, in a decaying house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the north-eastern Himalayas.

Sep 03 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

The Guardian

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Otherwise, we are left with Sai, and her sense, which is also the sensation experienced by the reader, of being battered by overlapping stories that drown out her own desire for the reassurance of love: "Never again could she think there was but one narrative and that this narrative belonged only...

Aug 26 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

Publishers Weekly

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Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired Cambridge-educated judge, lives in Kalimpong, at the foot of the Himalayas, with his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, and his cook.

Oct 24 2005 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

BC Books

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The comic element, always riven through with irony, is most often to the fore, as characters grapple with a world much bigger than themselves, a world that only ever seems to admit them partially, and rarely on their own terms.

Jul 10 2008 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

Book Reporter

In a house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga, which shows little sign of its former glory, lives a judge, his granddaughter and their cook.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

Entertainment Weekly

Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss tackles both colonial and postcolonial India as experienced by four characters now living in a misty Himalayan village in the 1980s: a retired Gujarati judge whose flashbacks to his Cambridge education in the 1930s reveal the roots of his self-loathing;

Jan 11 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

Suite 101

Will is a loner and happy to be so but even he cannot fail to be touched and affected when weird kid, Marcus enters his life.

Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

People

Sai, the orphaned heroine of this confident novel, has been living quietly with her grandfather, an elderly judge, in the shadow of the Himalayas, in northeastern India.

Jan 30 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

London Review of Books

In The Inheritance of Loss, her second novel, Kiran Desai addresses herself to an Indian culture in which globalisation isn’t imagined but experienced, whether in exile abroad or as a result of painful social and cultural displacements within the country itself.

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Oprah.com

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Oprah.com

With her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss (Atlantic Monthly), Kiran Desai has written a sprawling and delicate book, like an ancient landscape glittering in the rain.

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Curious Book Fans

On returning from Cambridge – a place where he felt totally isolated and very foreign – he found his wife too ‘Indian’ and sent her back to her parents, where six months later she produced a daughter.

Dec 15 2009 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

BookRack

The mesmerising , DEEP way in which she describes the feelings , the delicacy , inner fears and aspirations of the characters indicates how well she gets lost in her own books !

Jul 01 2010 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

IBN Live

But that doesn't stop him taking out his frustration on Sai (sounds like a lot of people you'd meet in real life!) The real fun is in New York.

Oct 11 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

HSJ

Set in a remote town in India, The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai leads the reader deep into the lives and experiences of four intertwined characters, all struggling to find their place.

Feb 20 2013 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

New Zealand Woman's Weekly

Review by Book Club member Luna Rushdi While reading the first words of the book, I was still possessed by the last words of Borges’s poem printed on the opening pages – "I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive."

Dec 17 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

India Today

The cook, it emerges, is a natural-born storyteller, inventor of a wonderful, perfect life in America for his immigrant son, Biju, creator of a magnificent, haveli-born past and a passionately loving marriage for the judge (who in truth, had neither).

Jan 30 2006 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

Hoping to be left alone, a retired judge in rural India becomes guardian

Apr 01 2013 | Read Full Review of The Inheritance of Loss: A No...

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