Mother India (Hardcover)

By Tova Reich

Syracuse University Press, 9780815611066, 264pp.

Publication Date: November 13, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (11/6/2019)

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Description

Literary, lyrical, and cuttingly satiric, Mother India is a brilliantly original novel about Jews who go to India to find transformation and eternal release from the sufferings of life. Narrated in luminous prose by Meena, a Jewish American lesbian who has claimed India as her home, the novel is vividly populated by the darkly comic
universe of three generations of women along with other family members, as well as by the Indians whose world they seek to penetrate. There is Meena's religiously observant mother, Ma, whose desire to remove herself from the wheel of life plays out in a Faulknerian funeral procession and cremation on the banks of the holy river Ganges; Meena's daughter, Maya, a misunderstood child coming of age in an emotionally treacherous household; her ex-wife, Geeta, a privileged and hedonistic Indian woman who enters their world with devastating consequences; Meena's twin brother, Shmelke, a charismatic rabbi turned guru and international fugitive; and the Indian servant, Manika, whose loyalty to the family both sustains and shackles them.

Identifying with the humanity of its characters, the reader is drawn into a vast, tragicomic, and fascinating epic, Homeric in scope, drama, discovery, and surprise. Universal yet intimate, brutal yet tender, satiric yet sympathetic, Mother India evokes reactions--intellectual, emotional, visceral--that are complex, even contradictory, containing the might and bite that our current cultural hubris and self-involvement deserve. In Mother India, Reich offers us her most poignant and astonishing novel to date.


About the Author

Tova Reich is the author of several novels, including My Holocaust and One Hundred Philistine Foreskins. Her stories have appeared in Atlantic Monthly, Harper's, AGNI, Conjunctions, and elsewhere. In 1996, she won the National Magazine Award for her story "The Lost Girl." She lives outside Washington, DC.