• Sushma Ramesh

Book review- The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

  1. Book Name: The Far Field

  2. Author: Madhuri Vijay

  3. Publishers: Harpercollins India

  4. Price: 400 INR

  5. Available on: Amazon and Flipkart

About the Book:

In the wake of her mother’s death, Shalini, a privileged and restless young woman from Bangalore, sets out for a remote Himalayan village in the troubled northern region of Kashmir. Certain that the loss of her mother is somehow connected to the decade-old disappearance of Bashir Ahmed, a charming Kashmiri salesman who frequented her childhood home, she is determined to confront him. But upon her arrival, Shalini is brought face to face with Kashmir’s politics, as well as the tangled history of the local family that takes her in. And when life in the village turns volatile and old hatreds threaten to erupt into violence, Shalini finds herself forced to make a series of choices that could hold dangerous repercussions for the very people she has come to love. With rare acumen and evocative prose, in The Far Field Madhuri Vijay masterfully examines Indian politics, class prejudice, and sexuality through the lens of an outsider, offering a profound meditation on grief, guilt, and the limits of compassion.

About the Author:

Madhuri Vijay was born and raised in Bangalore. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and her writing has appeared in Best American Non-Required Reading, Narrative Magazine, and Elle India, among other publications. The Far Field is her first book.

My take on the Book:

What I liked most about this book is the honest and brutally raw narrative done by the author. It tore me up to pieces and crept me till the end. This was not just any ordinary story that I had read and to be frank it shook me completely when I learned and realized about the political and regional chaos that prevails in Kashmir. a slow but steady pace of the story along with back and forth narration between Shalini’s childhood and her terrible trip to Kashmir was so intense and powerful! This is one such gripping story that has multi-layers that reveals so much about Kashmir- the conflicting region of India, about complicated relationships and mental illness. Also, the fact that this is a debut novel by the author truly amazed me! This book clearly is a deserving winner for the ‘2019 JCB prize for literature’ award for me. I highly recommend this book to everyone. A must-read stunning novel! My ratings: 🌟🌟🌟🌟1/2

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