Love and Death in Kathmandu: A Strange Tale of Royal Murder

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9780312329945: Love and Death in Kathmandu: A Strange Tale of Royal Murder
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On June 1, 2001, the heir to the Nepalese throne, Crown Prince Dipendra, donned military fatigues, armed himself with automatic weapons, walked in on a quiet family gathering, and, without a word, mowed his family down before turning a gun on himself. But Dipendra did not die immediately, and while lying in a coma was declared king. He was now a living god.

Award-winning journalists Amy Willesee and Mark Whittaker set out to understand what could have led to such a devastating tragedy, one that fascinated and appalled the world. Exploring Kathmandu and other parts of the kingdom, they conducted exhaustive interviews with everyone from Maoist guerillas to members and friends of the royal family, gaining insight into the people involved in and the events behind the massacre. At the heart of the story is the love affair between Dipendra and the beautiful aristocrat Devyani Rana, whom he was forbidden to marry. Culminating their portrait of Nepal is a chilling reconstruction of the events of that fatal day.

As conspiracy theories circulate and rebels threaten to topple the monarchy, the future of this small Himalayan kingdom, promises to be as tumultuous as its past. Revealing a country where the twenty-first century mingles uneasily with the fourteenth, Love and Death in Kathmandu is both an enlightening portrait of a place that is a world apart and a riveting investigation of an incredible crime.

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About the Author:

Amy Willesee and Mark Whittaker won the 2002 Asia-Pacific Travel Writing Award. They live in Sydney, Australia.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

"Few Nepalis we meet believe their crown prince is guilty. There is an air of quiet resignation in Kathmandu, both in the few who believe the apparent evidence, and among the majority who cling to what they know in their hearts. Their beloved Crown Prince Dipendra, they tell us, simply cannot have killed his parents. Indeed, in the world's only Hindu kingdom, many believe he was a living incarnation of the god of Vishnu.

More than just one violent night in the royal palace, this story is an intricate web of family feuds, mysticism, conspiracy theories, and fact. It is also a story of place. We begin by exploring Kathmandu and Nepal itself. From there our journey will spiral inwards to the heart: a portrait of Crown Prince Dipendra, his love affair with Devyani Rana, and the events that may yet lead to the end of a dynasty."

Copyright 2003 by Amy Willesee and Mark Whittaker

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