Clear Light of Day by Anita Desai


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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize: A “rich, Chekhovian novel” about family and forgiveness from the acclaimed author of Fire on the Mountain (The New Yorker).

At the heart of this “wonderful” novel are the moving relationships between the estranged members of the Das family (Washington Post Book World). Bimla is a dissatisfied but ambitious teacher at a women’s college who lives in her childhood home, where she cares for her mentally challenged brother, Baba. Tara is her younger, unambitious sister, married and with children of her own. Raja is their popular, brilliant, and successful brother. When Tara returns for a visit with Bimla and Baba, old memories and tensions resurface, blending into a domestic drama that leads to beautiful and profound moments of self-understanding.

Set in the vividly portrayed environs of Old Delhi, “Clear Light of Day does what only the very best novels can do: it totally submerges us. It also takes us so deeply into another world that we almost fear we won’t be able to climb out again” (New York Times Book Review).

“Passages must be read and reread so that you savor their imagery, their language, and their wisdom.” ??—?? Washington Post Book World

“[A] thoroughly universal tale of unhealable family hurts . . . Distinctively shaded with enticing glimpses of India’s Hindu middle-class in shabby decline.” ??—?? Kirkus Reviews, starred review