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Such a Long Journey
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About the Author

Rohinton Mistry was born in 1952 and grew up in Bombay, India, where he also attended university. He later emigrated to Canada, where he began a course in English and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of three novels and one collection of short stories. His debut novel, Such a Long Journey (1991), won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best Book and the Governor General's Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was made into an acclaimed feature film in 1998. His second novel, A Fine Balance (1995), won many prestigious awards, as well as being shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Irish Times International Fiction Prize. His collection of short stories,Tales from Firozsha Baag, was published in 1987.

Reviews

Set in Bombay in 1971, this novel is both microscopic and macrocosmic in its portrait of the various lives of Gustad Noble--his family life, his work as a bank clerk, and, ultimately, his innocent participation in national intrigue. India's overall decay and corruption is evident everywhere, from the petty behavior of Noble's neighbors and friends to the double-dealing of Indira Gandhi's regime. Yet, at the end, Gustad Noble, with much of his previously placid existence disrupted, resolutely continues on his arduous journey of survival. There is one serious flaw--a much-needed appendix of Hindi expressions used in the story, with English translations--but otherwise this is an unusually superior novel.-- Glenn O. Carey, Eastern Kentucky Univ., Richmond

"'One of India's finest living novelists.' Observer"

Mistry, Bombay-born author of Swimming Lessons and Other Stories from Firozsha Baag , serves up an exotic feast with this novel. The year is 1971, and India is ready to pursue a war against Pakistan over the region that will become Bangladesh. This chaotic period is seen through the eyes of one Gustad Noble, a family man and Parsi bank clerk in Bombay. Gustad's fortunes have begun to change for the worse, with disappointments and bad luck sweeping through his previously secure way of life. When an old friend secretly recruits him to assist in a seemingly heroic mission under the aegis of Indira Gandhi's CIA-like operatives, he becomes enmeshed in a series of dangerous events, with tragic results. Mistry's prose displays the lightest of witty touches, and the narrative is often quite funny, particularly when it invites us inside the minds of the knowable, likable, somehow familiar men and women whose activities propel the plot. A writer of enormous range and shrewdness, Mistry delivers no manifesto, but an intelligent portrait of the corrupt aspects of Indira Gandhi's years in power. Throughout his byzantine scenario, he demonstrates empathy for and deep understanding of his characters. His novel evokes Rushdie in its denser, florid moments, and T. Coraghessan Boyle in its more madcap flights. (Apr.)

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