Partitions

Amit Majmudar, Author
Amit Majmudar. Holt/Metropolitan, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9395-7
Reviewed on: 04/11/2011
Release date: 06/01/2011
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-85168-785-5
Open Ebook - 224 pages - 978-1-4299-7276-5
Paperback - 211 pages - 978-1-250-00762-9
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-85168-840-1
Hardcover - 224 pages - 978-1-85168-831-9
Paperback - 978-1-85168-832-6
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Poet Majmudar's unconvincing debut novel portrays the partition of India through the lives of two young brothers, a Muslim doctor, and a young, religious Sikh girl whose father tries to poison her rather than let her fall prey to marauders. The narration—courtesy of the dead father of the two boys—offers ample opportunity for remarks about being dead, and as it charts the lives of the characters, Majmudar makes heavy use of both the concept of partition and the word itself as the boys are separated from their mother in a mobbed train station, the doctor makes his slow way to Pakistan, and the girl sets out alone armed only with kitchen knives. Tedious though not clumsy, the book subjects its characters to public defecation, sex slave traffickers, and to witness suicide, but even the dark ending can't shake the notion that the whole endeavor feels like a semisanitized and oversensationalized theme park ride. (June)
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