Indian Literature, Post-colonial, World Literature

Ghachar Ghochar

November 6, 2017

According to Suketu Mehta’s blurb on the front of the novel, “Vivek Shanbhag is an Indian Chekhov.” This is pretty accurate. Ghachar Ghochar is short, subtle, and totally compelling. The ending leaves one hanging in a perfect state of ambiguity, so much so that when I woke up in the middle of the night, I could not get back to sleep because I was considering the possible plot resolutions and the clues throughout the text leading up to them. Readers should attend to the theme of violence against women…

I can’t wait to teach this in my Postcolonial Indian literature class next term. Shanbhag seems prolific and well known in his own language, Kannada, but this is the only one of his texts to make it to English-dominant America, so far. This is a shame. I hope there’s a good translator out there somewhere hearing my plea! I want more Shanbhag!

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