The Cauliflower (Hardcover)
Henry Holt & Company, 9781627797191, 304pp.
Publication Date: August 9, 2016
"Maddening, funny, playful and beautiful...Barker has once again invigorated an old form -- the historical biographical novel -- through electric wit and sheer bedazzlement."
--The Washington Post
To the world, he is Sri Ramakrishna--godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru. To Rani Rashmoni, she of low caste and large inheritance, he is the brahmin fated to defy tradition. But to Hriday, his nephew and longtime caretaker, he is just Uncle--maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to sneak out to the forest at midnight to perform dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies and devotees with ulterior motives, but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulfur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower.
Rather than puzzling the shards of history and legend together, Barker shatters the mirror again and rearranges the pieces. The result is a biographical novel viewed through a kaleidoscope. Dazzlingly inventive and brilliantly comic, irreverent and mischievous, The Cauliflower delivers us into the divine playfulness of a twenty-first-century literary master.