Author: Samrat Upadhyay
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0618247270
From the Acclaimed author of Arresting God in Kathmandu come this engrossing story of love and loss in contemporary Nepal. His novel is a moving and important story-important for what it illuminates about the human need to love as well as lust, and for the light it shines on the political situation in Nepal and elsewhere.
Ramchandra is a math teacher earning a low wage and living in a small apartment in Kathmandu with his wife and two children. Moon-lighting as a tutor, he engages in an illicit affair with one of his tutees, Malati, a beautiful, impoverished young woman who is also a new mother. She provides for him what his wife, who comes from a privileged background, does not: desire, mystery, and the beauty of a simpler life. Not surprisingly, the affair soon upends Ramchandra’s family, and he learns that he knows far less about his wife- and about himself-than he thought.
Complicating matters is Kathmandu itself, a small city bursting with the conflicts of modernization, a static government, and a changing population. Just as Kathmandu must contain its growing needs, so must Ramchandra learn to accommodate both tradition and his very modern desires.
Absolutely absorbing yet deceptively simple, this novel brims with psychological acuity and a rich sense of the connection between spirituality and sensuality. It also cements Upadhyay’s emerging status as one of our most exciting new writers.
PRAISE FOR THE GURU OF LOVE
Mr. Upadhyay’s novel picked me up by the scruff of my neck, shook me a bit, and then hurled me into a world as lovely and emotional as anything I have experienced inside a book in recent years.
Unsentimental, full of details that seem to combust completely. His delicate realism helps us recognize, with compassion and awareness, the stories and feelings of which our won lives are composed. Fiction doesn’t get much better than this.
Utterly absorbing…Upadhyay’s lucent and tender storytelling gently unveils the strange interplay between self and family, the private and the political, and most mysteriously, the erotic and the spiritual.
-Booklist, starred review