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The Inheritance of Loss

3.39  ·  Rating Details  ·  36,774 Ratings  ·  3,133 Reviews
In a crumbling, isolated house at the foot of Mount Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas lives an embittered judge who wants only to retire in peace, when his orphaned granddaughter, Sai, arrives on his doorstep. The judge's cook watches over her distractedly, for his thoughts are often on his son, Biju, who is hopscotching from one gritty New York restaurant to another. Kiran De ...more
ebook, 362 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press (first published August 31st 2006)
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K.D. Absolutely
Dec 04, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: Man Booker Prize 2006, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2004-2010)
So far, this is the Man Booker Prize winner that is most relevant to me as an Asian. Most countries in Asia were once colonies of European or American countries and their influences will forever stay no matter how many centuries have passed. Also, this is one of the most readable. Although the verses are oftentimes playful, the storytelling is concise. Almost all the characters seem to be alive and the imageries that the scenes create seem like imprints that will stay in your mind for a long tim ...more
Paul Bryant
Nov 23, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, india
I'm not going to say that this novel is bad

(Chorus of GR friends : Say it, go on, you know you want to...)

but it was pretty ghastly for me. It was strangled to death by a style you could describe as inane wittering, a crew of characters all of which are loveably eccentric and a plot that Ms Desai believes will take care of itself as the inane wittering puthers all over the loveable eccentrics.

So, to sum up

Amira Mahmoud

هل يمكن أن يتحول في أعماقنا الشعور بما نحققه من إنجاز إلى شيء أشبه بالخسارة والفقد؟

ميراث الخسارة
ميراث الفقر والجهل، والحظ السيء
ميراث ينتقل من جيل الآباء إلى الأبناء والأحفاد وإلى آخر السلالة
ميراث أساسي لكل من يولد في بلد نامي
يملك من الفقر والجهل ما يكفي ملايين الأجيال القادمة
يلاحقهم أينما كانوا، ومهما حاولوا الهرب منه حتى إلى أرقى البلدان تقدمًا
يبدو أنه ميراث يجري في دمائهم وتتشبع به جيناتهم الوراثية
أو هو هالة تحيط بهم أيتما كانوا وتدفع عنهم كل بارقة أمل أو فرصة ستدفعهم للمضي قدمًا
أعتقد هذا ه
Aug 20, 2008 Philip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Inheritance Of Loss by Kiran Desai is a magnificent, impressive novel that ultimately is disappointing. As a process, the book is almost stunningly good. As a product, it falls short.

The book’s language, scenarios and juxtapositions are funny, threatening, vivid and tender all at the same time. The comic element, always riven through with irony, is most often to the fore, as characters grapple with a world much bigger than themselves, a world that only ever seems to admit them partially, and
Aug 09, 2007 JoAnne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2007 jess rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While the writing was lovely and the theme of the conflicting Indian identities in post-colonial India and in the United States was really interesting and supported with well-developed characters... but.
I just couldn't get into it and found it like pulling teeth to get through.
Marlon James
Sep 14, 2008 Marlon James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I finally met Salman Rushdie (!!!!) within seconds we got to talking about this book. Like Moshin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Inheritance tackles radical territory, more radical than you might think. Both novels break from the traditional immigrant novel by having the main character break from the country of adoption and return to the country of origin. Sure the act is nothing new, but the post 9/11 instability is. This is a lot more striking than you might think— the basic concep ...more
Araz Goran

كيران ديساي ~ ميراث الخسارة

الرواية الحائزة على جائزة البوكر الدولية 2006

الرواية تحكي عن بلدة هندية تقع في منطقة الهيمالايا الجبلية نسبياً ،يعيش في تلك البلدة فيها قاضي وحفديته والطباخ الذي يخدم في منزل القاضي.. الرواية تدور حول هولاء الثلاثة ،حياتهم، تاريخهم، أحلامهم، واقعهم ومآسيهم..

البعد الثاني للرواية في مكان مختلف تماماً وهي مدينة نيويورك حيث يعمل إبن الطباخ هناك..

أجواء الرواية هادئة نوعاً ما، كل القضايا في الرواية تناولتها " ديساي " بطريقة راقية عفوية جميلة بعيداً عن الألفاظ الفجة ولغة ال
It was an awful thing, the downing of a proud man. He might kill the witness.
I was in the midst of my pre-reviewing laze that consists of gathering up thoughts and quotes and semi-but-not-really-pigeonholing-various-things when without warning the word 'satire' reared its head. It's not a word I get along with, what with its all too frequent usage as a blockade, a safety blanket, a "but it's a satire so I can say anything I want?!?!" that guarantees neither quality nor even simple entertainmen
I am very interested in reading books on India since I read Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. This novel gave me an idea about life of Indians (although I already studied it in our high school History. ) I became more interested when I read A White Tiger by Aravind Adiga from which I learned the real face of social system in India, that people in the lower class get through miserable and sordid life. This fact opened my mind then. Probably, the novel that has had a significant impact upon me so far is R ...more
Jul 28, 2015 Zanna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a one of those books that makes me want a sixth star, one that I had to put down constantly to take a moment to close my eyes, see the landscape, ride the emotion, work the thought through, one that dreamed me into a never land that, against the feebleness of my imagination, really exists in the indigo shadows of Kanchenjunga. It took my breath and squeezed my heart. Along with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, it is my favourite novel, ever, about migration. I hope I live to read i ...more
snackywombat (v.m.)
Jan 23, 2008 snackywombat (v.m.) rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: would-be everest climbers
With so much incredible praise riding on this book, I really expected more of it. So basically, I'm deducting points because I was disappointed by the build-up--I mean, the NBCC and Man Booker Prize? I guess that's not entirely fair though. Standing on its own, The Inheritance of Loss gives exactly what it promises. It describes the barren lives of characters that have been robbed of love or dignity or some necessary emotion in life, all juxtaposed against the twin backgrounds of an incredibly l ...more
Riku Sayuj
blown away by the ending...
Marte Patel
Mar 19, 2007 Marte Patel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like books that draw you in
Shelves: fiction, india
Ever since Kiran Desai won the Man Booker Prize in October last year, as the youngest female winner in the award’s 39 year history, I have been wanting to read it. I picked up my paperback copy from Heathrow while flying home for Christmas, but could not find the time. I admit I felt slightly apprehensive, thinking that as a Booker Prize winner it must be a difficult, challenging read.

Then the book was chosen as the March title for the SYP Oxford Book Club and I suddenly had both a very good rea
Nicole Marble
Apr 18, 2009 Nicole Marble rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another Mann Booker prize winner this time from India. The first, and perhaps longest, lesson of the book is a new, to me, kind of poverty - inherited. After that, we see a pattern of life of many people in India and how the least of them are treated, and how they treat each other including when the lucky few (in their eyes) get to the US. One fascinating insight is the Hindu attitude to Islam - that Islam is so strict and so counterintuitive to human behavior that no one actually follows it. Th ...more
Truth be told, I feel like I hated this novel. Alas, I realize that I am being unduly, especially biased against it for a few reasons. The primary reason is how lauded it is, including winning an award that I have a special respect for: The Man Booker Prize (2006). This is thus far the most undeserving winner that I have read.

To begin with, this novel has no focus; it has some colorful characters, some touching scenes, some inspiring vignettes, an overall well researched amount of data regardin
Chitralekha Paul
I completed reading this book but the strange thing is I am unable to rate it.I didn't have the patience to read it and sort of forced myself to go through. So I skipped most of the content to reach the end.The writing is no doubt powerful and strong. Some of the descriptions are too good but on the whole found the novel boring.The characters, except for the judge, the cook and Sai failed to have any impact. I was just not interested to know what the other characters did or felt. Is there somet ...more
Jason Koivu
Jul 05, 2012 Jason Koivu rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Loved the full, lush descriptions of The Inheritance of Loss, but wasn't too keen on the lack of focus or a strong main character. The pov was passed around to a handful of characters in order to show a variety of experiences. I would've preferred sticking with one or two of them at most, having them shoulder more of the narrative weight, rather than being jostled around so much. A lot of people seem to like this one, so perhaps chalk up the low rating to my taste in narrative style and read it ...more
Feb 21, 2016 Jana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am being generous with this second star, and it's here because I can't relate to India with its English (post) colonisation but I find it interesting. But I still think this book is rather difficult to read and therefore difficult to like; I was really struggling. Desai’s characterisation is flat. She tried to do so much- the plot itself is great, but I couldn’t connect and it’s not because I am not an Indian so I don’t get the mentality, but because her writing was – unstable. Emotionless. No ...more
Apr 17, 2011 Kristen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, fiction
It seems like I’ve been reading a lot of complicated novels lately. To even try to explain all the story lines here and what I think it all means is just way more effort than I’m willing to spend. But this was a great book (why all the low ratings?)

Here are some bits I like:

“the present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind”

“He learned to take refuge in the third person and to keep everyone at bay, to keep even himself away from himself”

“he had been recruited to bri
Jun 03, 2007 Animesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I come away with a lot better impression than that which I had upon reading the first 30 or so pages. It is a mature writing, with insight, sophistication, and a sense of the grandly tragic.

The author weaves a series of parallel stories--imageries--about some very different lives, each quixotic, each distinguished with a color of it own. All except one has only one thing in common--they are all cultural implants, all dancing in their separate destinies, spinning towards their fate that makes the
Jul 17, 2011 Velvetink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short synopsis; 4 Stars for this one because it was beautifully written and I learned a lot about the history of the Gurkhas and the uprising in 1986 in Nepal, and much about Indian immigration to the USA & the UK and life for "illegals in America. Yet again I have pages of notes & no time soon to write a full report. It's also about racism and the caste system and as the name implies the inheritance of loss from previous generations. It won a number of awards, including the Man Booker P ...more
The style of this book had no charms for this reader. I found the characters uninteresting and sometimes pathetic as I slogged my way through this dreary book. While there were moments of fine writing, for example the vital landscape is vividly portrayed, I could not overcome the disconnected approach the author used in telling her story. Stylistically the book jumped back and forth between different places and events in a way that seemed haphazard to me. Unfortunately there were no compelling c ...more
Set in the Indian Himalaya, with Nepali and Indian characters; a cooks son sent to America to make his fortune; an orphaned granddaughter growing up in the care of her retired judge grandfather... Nepalis in India not being recognised as Indian resulting in civil unrest.

Really this had all the makings of a great story, and it won the Man-Booker. Hmm, Man-Booker - that means in my experience about a 40% success rate in whether it turns out to be good.

I struggled to hold interest in this, I think
Aliaa Mohamed
Jan 12, 2015 Aliaa Mohamed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
ف " ميراث الخسارة " الكل ذاق مرارة الفشل والهزيمة والخسارة
بدءاً من القاضى الذى فشل ف إقامة علاقة سوية مع زوجته والحفاظ ع العائلة وظن أنه قد يكفر عن أخطاء ماضيه بالحياة مع حفيدته ولكنه فشل ف ذلك أيضاً !
والحفيدة ساى التى عانت منذ الصغر نتيجة وفاة والديها ف حادث ونشأتها ف ملجأ إلى أن تقرر ارسالها إلى جدها القاضى لتعيش معه ، وفشلها ف حبها مع استاذها .
والاستاذ جيان الذى فشل ف حب ساى حب خالص من أى حقد أو كره لأصولها العريقة مقارنة بأصل عائلته الفقير ورغبته ف الانتقام بأى شكل من أجل تصحيح الأوضاع .
Dina Goluza
Mar 13, 2016 Dina Goluza rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-read, 2016, booker
Predivan jezik a tema jako teška. Radnja se dešava u Kalimpongu, zapadnom Bengalu u kome je život izuzetno težak. Sukobi, različite skupine naroda u tom području, različite religije, a ono što je zajedničko svima je želja za odlaskom u obećanu zemlju Ameriku gdje su svi bogati i gdje teče med i mlijeko.
Zvuči tako poznato.
Mar 07, 2016 Alliyah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A devastating but honest tale with a focus on character rather than plot. Immaculately constructed, and beautifully written. Will be reading this again for sure!
In one of her most memorable speeches, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reminds her listeners of the dangers of a single story. She puts it incredibly eloquently when she says: "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."

I propose that The Inheritance of Loss is a satire on America's single story on India.

Part of the single story I hear all the time is the sweetness and orn
Jan 17, 2015 Kainzow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought this book on recommendation of a friend-we just saw it out of the blue.

Even though I plan to read all the Booker nominees and winners one day,this one wasn't high on my list and I only started reading it in an attempt to diminish the imposing pile of books waiting to be read.

When I finished The God of Small Things in 2012,I wondered if I would ever read a book like this again.In the years that passed by,I read quite a few sublime classics,but I still hadn't found a book that would let m
Syl. A.k.a Topo di biblioteca
this was my re-read, but didnot feel so as I had already forgotten many of the pertinent events. The beauty of the language hit me again - I just devoured the sentences, sometimes going back to read twice or thrice. The story deals with the events occuring during the Gorkha revolution in the eighties in a small place called Kalimpong in West Bengal (?supposedly close to Nepal and Sikkim). It shows how the revolution affected and molded those who were pro and anti Gorkhaland, and how innocent ord ...more
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Brilliant! Luminous! Superb! (But is it really?) 31 295 Feb 20, 2016 09:14AM  
Did anyone else notice the use of food? 9 77 Jan 21, 2016 06:42AM  
Foreign 2 42 Apr 10, 2009 04:15PM  
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Kiran Desai is an Indian author who is a citizen of India and a permanent resident of the United States. She is the daughter of the noted author Anita Desai.

Desai's first novel, Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard (1998), gained accolades from notable figures including Salman Rushdie, and went on to receive the Betty Trask Award. Her second novel, The Inheritance of Loss (2006), won the 2006 Man Booke
More about Kiran Desai...

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“The present changes the past. Looking back you do not find what you left behind.” 2160 likes
“Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment. Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself.” 122 likes
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