The Far Field

The Far Field

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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"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, Kalyani, 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, Kalyani 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, Kalyani 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"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, 2019
ISBN: 9780802146373
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Call Number: eBook

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Nov 18, 2019

This is about a young woman on a quest to learn more about the life of her recently deceased mother. She uncovers a much bigger story than she expected. It is a very moving story about family, culture and tensions in society.

STPL_Kerry Nov 12, 2019

It is hard to decide what I think about this book--it took me a long time to read it as it did not captivate me (so many books were read in between), yet at the same time, I couldn't bring myself to give up on it. There were some characters in it that I really enjoyed, and all in all I think that Vijay is a talented writer and I was not unimpressed by her debut novel. I will be curious to see what she writes next.

Sep 17, 2019

1.5-star rating, which I rounded up to 2 out of respect to this debut Author's efforts & potential.

As stated above, Madhuri has embryonic talent as a Storyteller. However, this particular story was not the vehicle to showcase that. I found this to be the most challenging read I've had in a long time. I continued in the hope that some form of clarity, self-evolution and or closure would be found after 448 pages, unfortunately, that prospect was extinguished leaving me irritated and disappointed. The protagonist was so wilfully naive, self-absorbed and contemptuous to the feelings of others that with each page turn my vexation grew. Yes, she was in a state of grief over the regrettable loss of her mother. However, the negligent recklessness she continually treated others with is on par with a toddler throwing a screaming tantrum in the middle of a store, not a 24-year-old woman experiencing what 100% of the world has experienced in some form, loss of a loved one. Yet, if in the concluding chapter/s she had gained some wisdom, shown a discernable comprehension of the politics of Kashmir and or displayed a modicum of growth, I would have been able to better digest the rest, sadly it remained desolate and hollow.

Aug 25, 2019

Profound to start, but seemingly exhausted by the end (save for a relatively astonishing if ineffectual last act by the narrator). I do hope this author keeps writing, as she has real talent.

Apr 04, 2019

This is an interesting debut novel by Madhuri Vijay. Shalini is battling the demons of her childhood and decides to venture to Kashmir from Bangalore to confront the memory of her past in Bashir Ahmed. She meets his family and others from whom she hears that he is dead. However, she becomes a part of Kashmiri village life and has to make several difficult choices. The book is well written but do we need another book about Kashmir Politics?


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