KIRAN DESAI AS A NOVELIST
The post - independence Indian English fiction has seen quite a large crop of new and interesting writers. Their works are firmly based on social realism. Writers like Bhavani Bhattacharya, Manohar Malgonkar and Khushwant Singh appeared on the scene in the fifties of the last century. Quite a number of women novelists also emerged. Jhabvala, Kamala Markandaya, Nayantara Sahgal and Anitha Desai are notable among them. This development has continued ever since and one can discover many new voices. The most striking among them is Kiran Desai, the third recipient of Man Booker Prize after Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy.
LIFE AND WORKS:
Kiran is a true achiever in the real sense of the term. Born in
India in 1971, she shifted her base to England at the age of 14 before moving to the . She was
educated in USA India, England and the .
Her mother, Anita Desai is a noted writer. Therefore, to enter the field of writing was
very easy for her. Her first novel appeared as Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard in 1998. It is a fresh look at life
in the sleepy provincial town of US Shahkot in . This
book garnered vast acclaim. Her second sweeping novel, The Inheritance of Loss won the world's most prestigious Man Booker
Prize in 2006. The daughter has won where the mother could not succeed. This
novel is set in the mid 1980s in a Himalayan village. It is largely based on
the living between East and West, between past and present. India
Kiran walked in the footsteps of her mother. Her mother is more interested in the interior landscape of the mind. Writing for her was an effort to convey the true significance of things. Her novels deal with the problems of existence. Her characters were those for whom aloneness alone is the natural condition. The daughter continued along the contours marked by her mother. But she is perhaps more interested in social and political upheavals. She apparently sees everything from an Indian perspective. She has written a globalised narrative about the anxiety of being a foreigner. She offers an indictment of a capitalist system that has managed to crush the national and the racial identity. She is critical to the Western culture and practices.
Kiran’s plot construction, colorful art of characterization and fantastic use of language are always appreciated. Her works have wide range of characters. They are entwined neatly in a complex plot line. Her novels are powered by a superb language- assured and eloquent, supple and elegant. It is flowing, clear and visual. She is the mistress of devastating wit and charming style. She uses multiple question marks and exclamation marks throughout the text. Like Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard, The Inheritance of Loss abounds in rich, sensual descriptions. To some extent her novels have autobiographical touch. In short, Kiran has the amazing capacity to breathe life into the page.
THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS:
The Inheritance of Loss is set in the foot of the
Himalayas. It arrests natural
beauty, alternating between sadness and joy, hope and dejection. The backdrop
of the novel is the Gorkha movement for self rule in the area. Kiran Desai is more
interested in the people affected by the movement than the movement itself. So
it is a poignant story of the common people. The Inheritance of Loss
is much more ambitious than Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard in its
spatial breadth and emotional depth. It takes on huge subjects such as morality
and justice, globalisation, racial, social and economic inequality, immigration
and alienation, fundamentalism and multiculturalism. She illuminates the pain
of exile and the ambiguities of post- colonialism. Darjeeling
Thus Kiran Desai is one of the greatest novelists of Indian Diaspora. She sets her novels in
apparently sees everything from an Indian perspective. Her contribution to the
world of fiction is, no doubt, the subject of appreciation. Her achievement not
only fetched fame and admiration for her but also to the whole of India . India