Winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction for her second novel The Inheritance of Loss,
Kiran Desai is one of the most talented writers of her generation. Now available for the first time as a Grove Press paperback, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard
Desai’s dazzling, much-heralded debut novelis a wryly hilarious and poignant story of life, love, and family that simultaneously captures the vivid culture of the Indian subcontinent and the universal intricacies of human experience.
Sampath Chawla was born in a time of drought into a family not quite like other families, in a town not quite like other towns. After years of failure at school, failure at work, of spending his days dreaming in tea stalls, and singing to himself in the public gardens, it does not seem as if Sampath is going to amount to much. “But the world is round,” says his grandmother. “Wait and see! Even if it appears he is going downhill, he will come up on the other side. Yes, on top of the world. He is just taking the longer route.” No one believes her, until one day Sampath climbs a guava tree in search of peaceful contemplation and becomes unexpectedly famous as a holy man, sending the tiny town of Shahkot
into turmoil. A syndicate of larcenous, alcoholic monkeys terrorize the pilgrims who cluster around Sampath’s tree, spies and ice-cream vendors and profiteers descend on the town, and none of Desai’s outrageous characters goes unaffected as events spin increasingly out of control.