Author: Anita Desai
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0701168943
Shorlisted for Booker Prize Award for 1999, Fasting, Feasting is full of wit and sensuality, farce and deep pathos. This dazzling new novel cuts right to the heart of family life in two different cultures.
Uma, the plain older daughter, fails to outgrow her home and family, and stays on, surrounded and smothered by godlike, over-bearing parents, her ambitious, successful sister Arenas, who brings off a 'good' marriage, Arun the disappointing son and heir - and extended family of strange aunts and cousins like the feckless Ramu and lthe tragic, beautiful Anamika.
Across the world in Massachusetts, where young Arun goes as a student, life in the suburbs - where the Patton family men char hunks of meat while their womenfolk don't appear to cook or eat all - is bewildering and full of terror for the young Indian adolescent far from home.
Two different ways of assuaging human hungers, desires and appetites are revealed in this subtle, sharp and poignant story, which moves from the hub of a close-knit Indian household, with its traditional obligations and impositions, its overpowering warmth and sensual response, to the cool center of an American family, with its freedoms, freezers and paradoxically self-denying self-indulgence. In both there are victims - and survivors.
PRAISE FOR ANITA DESAI
One of the best Indian novelists writing in English.