Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize: An “extraordinary” novel “lit by a moral intelligence at once fierce and tender” (The New York Times Book Review).
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas, an embittered old judge wants only to retire in peace. But his life is upended when his sixteen-year-old orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge’s chatty cook watches over the girl, but his thoughts are mostly with his son, Biju, hopscotching from one miserable New York restaurant job to another, trying to stay a step ahead of the INS.
When a Nepalese insurgency threatens Sai’s new-sprung romance with her tutor, the household descends into chaos. The cook witnesses India’s hierarchy being overturned and discarded. The judge revisits his past and his role in Sai and Biju’s intertwining lives. In a grasping world of colliding interests and conflicting desires, every moment holds out the possibility for hope or betrayal.
Published to extraordinary acclaim, The Inheritance of Loss heralds Kiran Desai as one of our most insightful novelists. She illuminates the pain of exile and the ambiguities of postcolonialism with a tapestry of colorful characters and “uncannily beautiful” prose (O: The Oprah Magazine).
“A book about tradition and modernity, the past and the future—and about the surprising ways both amusing and sorrowful, in which they all connect.” —The Independent