Author(s): Vivek Shanbhag
In this masterful novel by the acclaimed Indian writer Vivek Shanbhag, a close-knit family is delivered from near-destitution to sudden wealth after the narrator's uncle founds a successful spice company. As the narrator - a sensitive young man who is never named - along with his sister, his parents, and his uncle move from a cramped, ant-infested shack to a larger house and encounter newfound wealth, the family dynamics begin to shift. Allegiances and desires realign; marriages are arranged and begin to falter; and conflict brews ominously in the background. Their world becomes 'ghachar ghochar' - a nonsense phrase that, to the narrator, comes to mean something entangled beyond repair. Told in clean, urgent prose, and punctuated by moments of unexpected warmth and humour, Ghachar Ghochar is a quietly enthralling, deeply unsettling novel about the shifting meanings - and consequences - of financial gain in contemporary India.
A novel of Chekhovian precision and lingering resonance which has all the signs of a contemporary cult classic.
Vivek Shanbhag is the author of eight works of fiction and two plays, all of which have been published to wide acclaim in the South Indian language of Kannada. Ghachar Ghochar is the first of his books to appear in English. He is the recipient of a Fall 2016 residency at the International Writing Program at Iowa. Srinath Perur (translator) is a writer and translator whose work has appeared in n+1, Granta, and the Guardian. He is the author of If It's Monday It Must Be Madurai, published by Penguin India.