May Book Club Selection

"The Inheritance of Loss" by Kiran Desai

Cover image of Kiran Desai  The Mount Pleasant Library’s Book Club selection for May is The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai. Winner of the 2006 Man Booker Prize, this thoughtful novel interweaves the stories of Jemubhai Popatlal, a retired judge, his orphaned granddaughter Sai, their cook, and the cook’s son, Biju. Set in the mid-1980s, the book contrasts the slower-paced, more old world setting of Kalimpong, at the foot of the Himalayas where the family lives, with the fast, chaotic pace of Manhattan’s restaurant scene where the cook’s son struggles to make a living as an illegal alien. The seeming tranquility of the Cambridge-educated judge’s home belies what has been going on around them; the Nepalese movement for an independent state, which soon comes to threaten their lives. Altering pace and setting, this beautifully written novel addresses the issues of nationhood, exile, the desire for a better life, tradition, modernity, and the ambiguities of post-colonialism.

The Mount Pleasant Library Book Club meets every second Wednesday of the month at 7pm. For information on where we will be meeting next, please contact Ana Elisa de Campos Salles at or call (202) 671-3121.