|No of pages||328|
|Book Publisher||Fourth Estate|
|Published Date||25 May 2017|
Author : Kiran Nagarkar5 Books
Kiran Nagarkar was born in Bombay in 1942. In addition to plays and screenplays, he has written four novels, establishing his reputation as an outstanding representative of contemporary Indian literature.
His books are a target of ideological critique due to the hybrid nature of his version of postcolonialism, involving irreverence alongside seriousness.
Nagarkar studied at the Ferguson College in Bombay and then worked as an assistant professor at some colleges, as a journalist and screenplay writer, and, notably, in the advertising industry.
He wrote his first book Sat Sakami Trachealis (1974; Eng. Seven Sixes are Forty Three, 1980) in his mother tongue, Marathi.
His bitter and burlesque description of the young Bombazine Kunshan – achieved by means of a fragmented form and rendered in innovative language – is considered to be a milestone in Marathi literature.
In his first play Bedtime Story (1978), Nagarkar takes on the subject of modern responsibility by broaching the topic of political crises of the day (for instance the Cuban Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the State of Emergency called for by Indira Gandhi).
Due to problems with state censorship as well as religiously motivated restrictions that prevailed over the cultural scene, the play was not staged until 1995. His second book Raven and Eddie (1994) also met with a hostile response.
The story of the childhood of two young boys, one Hindu, the other Christian, from families who live next door to each other yet live in completely different worlds, was criticized both as anti-Hindu and anti-Christian.
The fact that Nagarakar chose to write this book and other subsequent writings in English, the language of his education, also encountered objections from his fellow countrymen.
In his subsequent novels, Nagarkar contrasts bigotry and extremism with a tolerance that feeds on doubt and is open to diversity.
In Cuckold (1997), this mentality is embodied in a character who looms in Indian historiography. This is the unknown spouse of the famous princess Meera from the 16th century, whose love songs to the God Krishna have passed into popular Indian culture.
In God’s Little Soldier (2006), the protagonist, who switches faiths without ever abandoning extremism, stands opposed to his questioning brother.
Consistent with the underlying idea of this book as a parable without a message Nagarkar affirms in an interview that we can never stop questioning ourselves, we must bring our convictions out into the light and prove them.
Nothing is more dangerous than being too much oneself, being completely sure of oneself, since such a belief will soon develop into an intolerance of others.
Nagarkar was distinguished with the H.N. Apte Award for the best first novel, the renowned Sahitya Award and the Dalmia Award for the furtherance of communicative harmony through literature.
He received a Rockefeller grant and was awarded a scholarship by the city of Munich. He lives in Bombay.
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Written by Kiran Nagaraj, Raven And Eddie is a humorous tale of two boys, a Hindu and a Christian, and the people living in Mumbai s chawls.
This hilarious book revolves around two boys, Raven, a Marathi Hindu, and Eddie, a Roman Catholic. The book has been set in the 1950s, just a few years after India obtained her independence. The religion and caste based division prevalent in the British Raj are still existing.
Raven and Eddie dwell in a chawl in Mumbai s Mazagaon area, and it is the events in their life in this chawl that make up the contents of this book. Raven And Eddie sets off with an incident that can change many lives. When Eddie is still in his mother s womb, his father, Victor Coutinho, is head over heels in love with Raven s mother,
Parvati-bai. One day, he stands gazing at Parvati-bai hanging out clothes in the balcony of the fourth floor. He ends up catching little Raven s interest, who decides to jump off his mother s grip towards Victor. Victor catches hold of Raven, but Victor falls dead.
Eddie grows up hearing that Raven is the reason behind the death of his father. Trouble seems to be his constant companion and he always avoids being around Raven. Soon, he decides to join the Hindu Sabha, which enrages his mother, who pulls him to their church and gets him exorcised.
At the same time, the Christian ways have always made Raven curious. Raven is confused about his religious philosophy and cannot understand why people call him a murderer.
Raven and Eddie, authored by Kiran Nagaraj, describes the lives of the chawl and the people living there. The lives of the middle-class families who dwell there are mostly unhappy. They are disgruntled at living in such close quarters. The life in the chawl has been detailed in the book by the author. It describes the situations where everybody has a say in everything that everyone does.
Raven and Eddie has been selected as one of the best ten novels about Mumbai. It takes its readers through a timeless journey of discovering oneself.