by Vivek Shanbhag
Pub Date 20 Apr 2017
In this masterful novel by the acclaimed Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag, a close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution to sudden wealth after the narrator's uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator - a sensitive young man who is never named - along with his sister, his parents, and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter newfound wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background.
Their world becomes 'ghachar ghochar' - a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. Told in clean, urgent prose, and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings - and consequences - of financial gain in contemporary India.
A Note From the Publisher
Not available to readers in the US.
‘Vivek Shanbhag is one of those writers whose voice takes your breath away at the first encounter. Ghachar Ghochar presents life and its undercurrents with limpid prose and quiet insight.’
Yiyun Li, author of A Thousand Year of Good Prayers
‘In this exquisitely observed, wry and moving novel, the smallest detail can conjure entire worlds of feeling. Vivek Shanbhag is a writer of rare and wonderful gifts.’
Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
‘How did Shanbhag manage to pack so much, so effortlessly and lucidly, into just over a hundred pages? Ghachar Ghochar is a book of distilled simplicity, its surface of seeming artlessness hiding that most complex and complicated of things – truthfully rendered human life. Beautiful, tense, surprising, utterly convincing and wise, and translated with real inspiration by Srinath Perur.’
Neel Mukherjee, Booker-shortlisted author of The Lives of Others
‘A remarkable novel about the fragile civilities of bourgeois life. The reader becomes absorbed in the unforgiving self-knowledge and expansive humanity contained in every page.’
Amit Chaudhuri, author of Freedom Song and Odysseus Abroad
‘Vivek Shanbhag is an Indian Chekhov, illuminating the romantic and financial tensions in middle class urban India with a doctor’s precision and sensitivity.’
Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found
‘One of my favorite contemporary writers in English translates one of the leading figures of Kannada literature. The result is mesmerizing, distressing – and altogether brilliant.’
Karan Mahajan, author of The Association of Small Bombs