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The Royal Ghosts


Upadhyay Samrat

Editeur - Casa editrice

Mariner Books


Anno - Date de Parution


Pagine - Pages


Lingua - language - langue


The Royal Ghosts  

With emotional precision and narrative subtlety, The Royal Ghosts features characters trying to reconcile their true desires with the forces at work in Nepali society. Against the backdrop of the violent Maoist insurgencies that have claimed thousands of lives, these characters struggle with their duties to their aging parents, an oppressive caste system, and the complexities of arranged marriage. In the end, they manage to find peace and connection, often where they least expect it -- with the people directly in front of them. These stories brilliantly examine not only Kathmandu during a time of political crisis and cultural transformation but also the effects of that city on the individual consciousness.

"Nepali writer Upadhyay's stories (following last year's novel The Guru of Love) are set in the urban environment of modern-day Katmandu, where people's lives advance, or not, in the shadow of the country's turmoil. The title story takes place in June 2001, on the day Nepali Crown Prince Dipendra murdered his entire family before killing himself; its focus, however, is a rough-around-the-edges taxi driver coming to terms with his brother's homosexuality and his own intense loneliness. In "A Refugee," Pitamber offers to take Kabita and her daughter into his home and family after Maoist rebels killed her husband; his kindness backfires when he generous act alienates him from his son, wife and even another family he was trying to help. Other stories further illuminate the domestic side of Nepali life: in "The Wedding Hero," a wealthy bachelor decides to spend his money hosting a large wedding for two poor servants; his well-intentioned meddling doesn't lead to a happy ending for anyone, including the lower-class couple. Upadhyay's not-so-simple stories are lucid and often luminous."
-- Publishers Weekly

"Like Willam Trevor, Samrat Upadhyay compresses into a short story the breadth of vision and human consequence we expect of a novel, and he does so in a prose that seems as natural as breathing. If there were an author of the universe who bestowed on us the tender regard that Upadhyay bestows on his struggling people, we would be blessed indeed."
-- Scott Russell Sanders, author of A Private History of Awe

"Elegant, rich, and pleasing, the stories of the The Royal Ghosts will haunt readers long after the book is finished. These are tales of both the individual and the society, conveying a measured, transcendental gaze at the nature of the world."
-- Diana Abu-Jaber, Author of The Language of Baklava


Recensione in altra lingua (English):

Table of Contents

A Refugee
The Wedding Hero
The Third Stage
Supreme Pronouncements
The Weight of a Gun
Chintamani's Women
Father, Daughter
A Servant in the City
The Royal Ghosts


Upadhyay Samrat

(aggiornata al 9 febbraio 2006)
Samrat Upadhyay is the first Nepali-born fiction writer writing in English to be published in the West. His first book, the short story collection ARRESTING GOD IN KATHMANDU (Houghton Mifflin, 2000; Houghton Mifflin Mariner Books paperback, 2001) has been translated into French and Greek and was the recipient of a Whiting Writers' Award, given annually by the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation to emerging poets and fiction writers who display "exceptional talent and promise." ARRESTING GOD IN KATHMANDU was also a selection in the Fall 2001 Barnes & Noble Great Writers Program. Upadhyay's stories have been read live on National Public Radio and published widely as well as in SCRIBNER'S BEST OF THE WRITING WORKSHOPS, edited by Sherman Alexie, and BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 1999, edited by Amy Tan.

Upadhyay's second book, the novel THE GURU OF LOVE, was published in January 2003 by Houghton Mifflin and given starred reviews in both Publishers Weekly and The Library Journal and named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year 2003 and a finalist for the 2004 Kiriyama Prize, which is awarded in "recognition of outstanding books that promote greater understanding of and cooperation among the peoples and nations of the Pacific Rim and South Asia." THE GURU OF LOVE was released in paperback by Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin in 2004. Upadhyay has also co-edited the anthology SECRET PLACES: NEW WRITING FROM NEPAL (University of Hawai'i Press), published in Winter 2001 as a special issue of Manoa magazine.