The Far Field
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Grove Atlantic 2019
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Description
"The Far Field is remarkable, a novel at once politically timely and morally timeless. Madhuri Vijay traces the fault lines of history, love, and obligation running through a fractured family and country. Few novels generate enough power to transform their characters, fewer still their readers. The Far Field does both."—Anthony Marra, author of The Tzar of Love and Techno Gorgeously tactile and sweeping in historical and socio-political scope, Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay's The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent as she reckons with her past, her desires, and the tumultuous present.In the wake of her mother's death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir's politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/15/2019
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802146373
ASIN:
B07MBGQK78
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53
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Grouped Work ID:
b195ab2e-293d-acc5-bdac-c4fba423f3dc
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Date Added:
Jan 11, 2019 17:02:59
Date Updated:
Jan 11, 2019 17:02:59
Last Metadata Check:
Apr 20, 2019 06:33:28
Last Metadata Change:
Apr 13, 2019 17:50:09
Last Availability Check:
Apr 20, 2019 06:33:31
Last Availability Change:
Apr 16, 2019 13:14:57

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"The Far Field is remarkable, a novel at once politically timely and morally timeless. Madhuri Vijay traces the fault lines of history, love, and obligation running through a fractured family and country. Few novels generate enough power to transform their characters, fewer still their readers. The Far Field does both."—Anthony Marra, author of The Tzar of Love and Techno
Gorgeously tactile and sweeping in historical and socio-political scope, Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay's The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent as she reckons with her past, her desires, and the tumultuous present.
In the wake of her mother's death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri...
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"The Far Field is remarkable, a novel at once politically timely and morally timeless. Madhuri Vijay traces the fault lines of history, love, and obligation running through a fractured family and country. Few novels generate enough power to transform their characters, fewer still their readers. The Far Field does both."—Anthony Marra, author of The Tzar of Love and Techno
Gorgeously tactile and sweeping in historical and socio-political scope, Pushcart Prize-winner Madhuri Vijay's The Far Field follows a complicated flaneuse across the Indian subcontinent as she reckons with her past, her desires, and the tumultuous present.
In the wake of her mother's death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir's politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love.
With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.
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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from October 29, 2018
        Vijay’s remarkable debut novel is an engrossing narrative of individual angst played out against political turmoil in India’s Jammu and Kashmir state in the late 2000s. Unmoored by her mother’s death, 24-year-old Shalini apathetically floats from job to job while receiving financial support from her affluent father. In an effort to find closure, Shalini leaves her native Bangalore to search for Bashir Ahmed, her mother’s only friend, who she hasn’t seen in years. Upon arriving in tumultuous Jammu, Shalini is taken in by a Muslim family in Kishtwar and struggles to understand the fractured nature of her surroundings: the role of the omnipresent Indian Army, the disappearances of local Muslims, and the frequent violence against and perpetrated by both Muslims and Hindus. Her search eventually leads to a Himalayan village, whose generous inhabitants temporarily give her a sense of purpose amidst staggering natural beauty. However, Shalini’s ignorance and inability to be honest with herself and others results in dangerous consequences for everyone she comes in contact with. Interspersed with flashbacks of Shalini’s relationships with her dazzling yet mentally ill mother, the mysterious but kind Bashir Ahmed, and her withdrawn father, Shalini’s misguided attempts at love, fulfillment, and friendship are poignant. Vijay’s stunning debut novel expertly intertwines the personal and political to pick apart the history of Jammu and Kashmir. Agent: Claudia Ballard, William Morris

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        DEBUT Set in Bangalore, India, Pushcart Prize winner Vijay's birthplace, this novel follows a young woman in search of herself. After losing her job, 30-year-old Shalini leaves her comfortable life and treks far north to Kishtwar to locate a salesman named Bashir Ahmed, whom she recalls from her childhood. There she learns the extent of the mysterious relationship between Ahmed and her mother and develops an unexpected relationship with Ahmed's son Riyaz and his family. Shalini immerses herself in the simplicities of life, even learning to milk a cow, and also becomes an English tutor to the daughter of a key village member. But in this remote region she also comes to understand firsthand the hard, dangerous truths of class struggles, politics, and gender in her country. VERDICT Narrating Shalini's journey in chapters that alternate between past and present and utilizing strong characterizations throughout, Vijay has crafted an engaging, suspenseful, and impressive debut. [See Prepub Alert, 7/9/18.]--Shirley Quan, Orange Cty. P.L., Santa Ana, CA

        Copyright 1 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        November 15, 2018
        The chain of events connecting a privileged young Indian woman, her volatile mother, and a tale-spinning Kashmiri merchant leads to tragedy in a story of religious conflict and domestic damage set in contemporary India.Taking the classic form of a journey, Vijay's vivid debut moves from sophisticated contemporary Bangalore to a harshly beautiful Himalayan mountain village as Shalini, a 30-year-old woman haunted by memories of her sarcastic, restless mother, recounts her painful accumulation of wisdom. As a child, Shalini's home was periodically visited by Bashir Ahmed, a clothing merchant, one of a very few people attuned to Shalini's mercurial mother. Although Bashir Ahmed could tell magical stories, his home life in Kashmir was becoming threatened by Hindu-Muslim tensions provoked by militant activism and the brutal response of the Indian army. Now, attempting to resolve her feelings about her mother's death nine years earlier, Shalini feels Bashir Ahmed might hold the key and travels to remote Kashmir to find him. Her comfortable life is replaced with something more basic as she discovers small communities, kindly individuals, friendship, attraction, a possible new role for herself--and secrets. But Shalini is naïve, and her efforts to help others, and herself, ultimately prove catastrophic. Shuttling between past and present and exploring complicated themes of parental fealty, identity, and religious schism, Vijay's ambitious novel is at its most magnetic when recounting Shalini's immersion in a different world, her embrace by new kinds of family, and the lessons she learns. But its epic length sets up expectations of equally immersive political history, and here the storytelling is cloudier, staffed with clichéd characters. Most memorable are the scenes of stripped-down joy in the mountains where the author's elegant, calm prose and intense evocations of people and places come into their own.A striking debut, stronger on the micro than the macro.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

popularity
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