The Hero's Walk
The Hero's Walk
Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345450920, 359pp.
Publication Date: February 26, 2002
"The Hero's Walk" is a remarkably intimate novel that fills the senses with the unique textures of India. With humor and keen insight, Anita Rau Badami draws us into her story of the graceful heroism of the ordinary.
In 1991 Anita Rau Badami left Bangalore in southern India to join her husband in Calgary, where he went to pursue his Masters in Environmental Science and then to Vancouver for a PhD in Planning. Arriving with their four-year-old son and five hundred dollars, the family was soon ensconced in a depressing basement apartment. To earn money, the former journalist, ad copywriter and children's writer ended up selling china in a mall. Of this time, Badami says, "I learned an awful lot about figurines and place settings, but I also made the most wonderful friends."
Badami began taking creative writing courses and wound up with Tamarind Mem, her master's thesis project at the University of Calgary. She sent the manuscript to Penguin Canada and quickly found herself a bestselling author with a reputation as a talented new Canadian writer. Her stories of home and away, of here and there, made her a part of the tradition Badami refers to as the post-postcolonial-immigrant school that began with Salman Rushdie's Midnight's Children. "I don't think I could have written a novel if I had not left India," Badami said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. "I find that the distance gives me perspective and passion. I was twenty-nine years in India and ten years here, so I have a foot in India and a couple of toes here. I am both doomed and blessed, to be suspended between two worlds, always looking back, but with two gorgeous places to inhabit, in my imagination or my heart."
Just after the publication of The Hero's Walk, Anita Rau Badami won the prestigious Marian Engel Award, given to a Canadian woman author in mid-career for outstanding prose writing. (Previous recipients include Carol Shields, Jane Urquhart, Bonnie Burnard and Barbara Gowdy.) Most recently, The Hero's Walk was optioned for film by a Canadian producer of See Spot Run Films in Los Angeles."
“Engrossing . . . Fascinating . . . This book demands to be read straight through.”
–The Washington Post Book World
“DEFT AND KNOWING . . . Badami’s prose is lovely, almost poetic, and her ear for dialogue and the idiosyncrasies of her characters’ speech rings true. . . . An intimate look into the hearts and minds of a complicated, quarrelsome, yet deeply loving family.”
“COMPELLING . . .[A] LUSH EVOCATION OF INDIAN LIFE . . . [with] often laugh-out-loud funny dialogue.”
“A WONDERFULLY TEXTURED TALE whose poignant events are imbued with truthfulness . . . Badami joins the ranks of such internationally celebrated authors as Michael Ondaaje.”
–The London Free Press