Adiga, Aravind. Between the Assassinations. New York: Free Press, 2008.
Reason read: in celebration of the Vivah Panchami festival (usually takes place in November or December).
Between the Assassinations is a series of connected short stories that take place over the course of one week in Kittur, India. The stories focus mainly on the poor of Kittur, their perceptions of the caste system and how they survive their lot in life. Some face it with hatred and revenge, as does Shankara in “Day Two (Afternoon): St. Alfonso’s Boys’ High School and Junior College” (49). Some recognize family and the act of sticking together as being the only option like Keshava and Vittal in the beginning of “Day Two (Evening: Market and Maidan” (p 107). Others are constantly scheming like George in “Day Five (Evening): The Cathedral of Our Lady of Valencia” ( p 243). Every character has a deep personality and even deeper desires. Be forewarned, most of the stories are desperate and all leave a chill in the air.
Quotes I liked, “A man might be stabbed in daylight, but never at night, and never while sipping tea” (p 31) and “His caste seemed to be common knowledge to people who had no business knowing it” (p 63).
Author fact: Adiga also wrote The White Tiger which is on my Challenge list.
Book trivia: At the end of Between the Assassinations there is a chronology of events occuring in Kittur between October 31st, 1984 and May 21st, 1991. It begins and end with assassinations, hence the title of the book.
Nancy said: nothing in particular except to say it is Indian fiction to be included in the India chapter (p 214).
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust To Go in the chapter called “Sojourns in South Asia: India” (p 212).