Wednesday, August 19, 2015
The Lives of Others by Neel Mukherjee
The book centers on the time period of the Naxalite insurgency that began in 1967. The rebellion has held a strong hold on the literature of West Bengal that was addressed specifically in Jhumpa Lahiri's book The Lowlands. The tragedy of state jackboots crushing idealistic students smitten with communism weighs heavily on the collective imagination. This dramatic chapter of India’s recent history has now been beaten to death in this novel, in similar fashion to the government's treatment of the rebels. The story follows the downward spiral of the Gosh family as they lose face and financial standing with the changing times. Which they adapt poorly to. The book is beautifully written and if you are a fan of the Booker nominees, you will not be disappointed, though you may be depressed.