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The Gurkha's Daughter (Hardcover)
On Our Shelves Now
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.
Praise for Prajwal Parajuly:
“A master at capturing, with great wit and humor, the day-to-day interactions between his characters.”—Manil Suri
“[Parajuly] is inventive and fresh, and it’s great to be reading fiction from and about a country that holds such an intrigue.”—Time Out Bejing
"The next big thing in South Asian fiction." —Anna McNamee, BBC World Service's The Strand
Praise for The Gurkha’s Daughter:
"Crisp, inventive and insightful . . . What gives Parajuly's characters warmth is an energy born of division or dispossession: a desire to be loved, to be better off, or to be elsewhere."—John Garth, The Guardian
"Eight beautifully written characters in neat stories that riff on displacement, perhaps but with wit and charm. . . . photo-real tales of modern movement."—Monocle magazine
"[An] accomplished debut . . . Though its recurring themes--the conflict between tradition and modernity; the squirming of the individual under the community's oppressive gaze--may be familiar, Parajuly's wry humour and deft handling of voice point to a distinctive talent."—David Evans, Financial Times
"Equally moving stories, the author takes us effortlessly inside the lives of the families in this remote ancient kingdom and its diaspora."—Christena Appleyard, Daily Mail