The Point of Return: A Novel

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9780060501532: The Point of Return: A Novel

Set in the remote, northeastern hills of India, The point of return revolves around the father-son relationship of a willful, curious boy, Babu, and Doctor Dam, an enigmatic product of British colonial rule and Nehruvian nationalism. Told in reverse chronological order, the novel examines an India where the ideals that brought freedom from colonial rule are beginning to crack under the pressure of new rebellions and conflicts. For Dr. Dam and Babu, this has meant living as strangers in the same home, puzzled and resentful, tied only by blood. As the father grows weary and old and the son tries to understand him, clashes between ethnic groups in their small town show them to be strangers to their country as well. Before long, Babu finds himself embarking on a great journey, an odyssey through the memories of his father, his family, and his nation.

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About the Author:

Siddhartha Deb was born in northeastern India in 1970. His first novel, The Point of Return, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His reviews and journalism have appeared in the Boston Globe, the Guardian, The Nation, the New Statesman, and the Times Literary Supplement. He came to New York on a literary fellowship in 1998, and now divides his time between India and New York.

From Publishers Weekly:

An "inept archeologist of memories" is how Babu, the narrator of Deb's elegiac debut novel, describes himself in this perceptive, if convoluted, tale about a generation gap between father and son in 1970s and '80s India. Babu's narrative unfolds in reverse chronological order as he tries to do justice to his father's life. Dr. Dam, a Hindu veterinary surgeon, has to flee his native Bengal when India is partitioned in 1947. He moves to a northern hill town in the state of Assam and becomes a civil servant, one of the few who is conspicuously upstanding in a corrupt postpartition bureaucracy where bribery and thievery reign. By the time Babu is born in 1970, Dr. Dam, now aged 44, has changed. He still has his old-fashioned rectitude (which Babu finds embarrassing) and Nehru-inspired ideals of national unity (which seem increasingly irrelevant as sectarian violence blooms), but he refuses to challenge the ineptitude around him. To Babu, Dr. Dam's servility in dealing with high-ranking, unrefined superiors smacks of a colonial mentality, remnants of his youth under the Raj. Babu learns much later about a long-ago pivotal incident in which his father felt duty-bound to reveal graft and paid a terrible price. Deb draws a sharp, memorable picture of the misunderstandings between father and son, exacerbated by rapid changes in India's political and cultural landscape. The structure of the narrative sometimes makes it hard to understand the chronology of events, but Deb convincingly shows how Babu comes to admire and mourn his father, and movingly dramatizes the immersion of individual lives in the flow of history.
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Book Description HarperCollins, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set in the remote, northeastern hills of India, The point of return revolves around the father-son relationship of a willful, curious boy, Babu, and Doctor Dam, an enigmatic product of British colonial rule and Nehruvian nationalism. Told in reverse chronological order, the novel examines an India where the ideals that brought freedom from colonial rule are beginning to crack under the pressure of new rebellions and conflicts. For Dr. Dam and Babu, this has meant living as strangers in the same home, puzzled and resentful, tied only by blood. As the father grows weary and old and the son tries to understand him, clashes between ethnic groups in their small town show them to be strangers to their country as well. Before long, Babu finds himself embarking on a great journey, an odyssey through the memories of his father, his family, and his nation. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060501532

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Book Description HarperCollins, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 198 x 135 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. Set in the remote, northeastern hills of India, The point of return revolves around the father-son relationship of a willful, curious boy, Babu, and Doctor Dam, an enigmatic product of British colonial rule and Nehruvian nationalism. Told in reverse chronological order, the novel examines an India where the ideals that brought freedom from colonial rule are beginning to crack under the pressure of new rebellions and conflicts. For Dr. Dam and Babu, this has meant living as strangers in the same home, puzzled and resentful, tied only by blood. As the father grows weary and old and the son tries to understand him, clashes between ethnic groups in their small town show them to be strangers to their country as well. Before long, Babu finds himself embarking on a great journey, an odyssey through the memories of his father, his family, and his nation. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060501532

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. 135mm x 20mm x 207mm. Paperback. Set in the remote, northeastern hills of India, The point of return revolves around the father-son relationship of a willful, curious boy, Babu, and Doctor Dam, an enigmatic product of Bri.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 304 pages. 0.268. Bookseller Inventory # 9780060501532

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