Nampally Road

Meena Alexander, Author Mercury House $15.95 (128p) ISBN 978-0-916515-82-9
In this brief novel by Indian-born poet and critic Alexander ( House of a Thousand Doors ), Mira returns from Britain to a post at the Central University of Hyderabad, India. As ``haunted by memory'' as Wordsworth, whose poems she teaches, Mira discovers herself uncomfortably between traditional values and the postcolonial world. Living on Nampally Road with ``Little Mother'' Durgabai, a physician to the poor, Mira absorbs the sights and sounds of the neighborhood--shoppers, hawkers, political demonstrations, police brutality--while trying to find her voice as a writer. As her relationship with Ramu, a political activist, deepens, Mira is drawn toward the victim of a gang rape and caught up in resistance to chief minister Limca Gowda's oppressive rule and his ``Ever Ready'' cabal of secret police. In quietly lyrical prose Alexander treats her protagonist's political awakening with engaging affection, and readers will enjoy the details of the Indian setting, from an apothecary's silver-plated Queen Victoria clock to the 300-pound servant Rani and her ``metaphysical urges,'' fed by a steady diet of movies at the Sagar Talkies cinema. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1991
Release date: 01/01/1991
Paperback - 107 pages - 978-0-916515-90-4
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