The Unyielding Clamor of the Night by Neil Bissoondath
A Novel

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A mesmerizing novel about the brutal and lasting effects of poverty and violence.Arun, a young man of privileged background, leaves his home in the prosperous north of his Southeast Asian island nation to teach in the devastated south, where a civil war between the military and rebel insurgents profoundly affects daily life. Idealistic and driven by a need to give meaning to his life, Arun relinquishes the trappings of wealth to dedicate himself to improving the lot of the "2 percenters," as the country's southern population is called. Over the course of several months he befriends some of the local people-Jaisaram, the local butcher, and his daughter Anjani, who reads to her father from romance novels; Kumarsingh, a "go-getting" entrepreneur; Seth, an American-trained army captain stationed at the local base; and various pupils. In Omeara, however, nothing is as it seems; everyone has secrets and truth is elusive. At the village school, attendance is meager and irregular. The only students who attend are those who, damaged by the conflict, are incapable of working in the fields. Surrounded by poverty and the constant threat of violence, Arun's optimism is eventually depleted and frustration with educating the village's schoolchildren overwhelms him. When violence finally touches him personally, he is forced to confront basic truths about his friends, his family, his country and, most wrenchingly, himself.

About Neil Bissoondath

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Neil Bissoondath is the author of The Worlds within Her, Doing the Heart Good, and A Casual Brutality. He has been nominated for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Governor General's Award and the Guardian Fiction Prize. He has won the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, the Canadian Authors Association Fiction Prize and a National Magazine Award (Gold) for fiction. He lives in Quebec City with his wife and daughter.
Published December 8, 2008 by Bloomsbury USA. 362 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Recruited to teach literacy to soldiers, Arun feels increasingly compromised by his dealings with Seth and the army.

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Publishers Weekly

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and others in the town and the army camp, Arun learns he has less in common with the northern-born soldiers than he does with the town's poor inhabitants\x97scared, uncertain and extremely vulnerable, ""like a fish enmeshed in a net."" Though a reader might know from the start where Arun's journe...

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Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Aug 04, 2006 Published in issue #890 Aug 11, 2006 Order article reprints

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