Exotic to whom?

Tessa Hadley

  • The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
    Hamish Hamilton, 324 pp, £16.99, August 2006, ISBN 0 241 14348 9

In The Inheritance of Loss, her second novel, Kiran Desai addresses herself to an Indian culture in which globalisation isn’t imagined but experienced, whether in exile abroad or as a result of painful social and cultural displacements within the country itself. This makes the novel sound rather gloomily earnest, but Desai’s scepticism and fearfulness are expressed as a dark exuberance: she can’t help relishing the textures of the fragmentation she describes.

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