Title: The Impressionist ***SIGNED***
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd, London
Publication Date: 2002
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st British Edition, 1st Printing.
First British Edition, First Printing with full number line. Signed, without inscription, by author on the FULL title page. New unread Fine book in Fine dust jacket. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box with Delivery Confirmation. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in protective clear wrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 010684
Synopsis: Pran Nath Razdan, the boy who will become the Impressionist, was passed off by his Indian mother as the child of her husband, a wealthy man of a high caste. Pran lived a life of luxury just downriver from the Taj Mahal, but at fifteen, the news of Pran?s true parentage is revealed to his father and he is tossed out into the street?a pariah and an outcast. Thus begins an extraordinary, near mythical journey of a young man who must reinvent himself to survive?not once, but many times.
From Victorian India to Edwardian London, from an expatriate community of black Americans in Paris to a hopeless expedition to study a lost tribe of Africa, Hari Kunzru?s unforgettable debut novel dazzles with its artistry and wit while it challenges with its insights into what it means to be Indian or English, black or white, and every degree that lies between.
Review: The antihero of The Impressionist, Hari Kunzru's daringly ambitious first novel, is half English and half Indian. In the Raj of the 1920s, the racial and social divides are enormous, but Pran Nath is able to bridge them, crossing from one side to another in a series of reinventions of his own personality. He begins as the spoiled child of an Indian lawyer, but circumstances thrust him out of his pampered adolescence into the teeming and dangerous life of the streets. After a bewildering period as one of the pawns in Machiavellian political and sexual scheming in the decadent court of a minor Maharajah, he escapes to Bombay. There he is taken up by a half-demented Scottish missionary and his wife, but Pran Nath prefers to slope off to the city's red-light district whenever he can. During a time of riot and bloodshed, the chance of re-creating himself as an English schoolboy destined for public school and Oxford presents itself, and he takes it. But this is not his final transformation.
In certain ways Kunzru is almost too ambitious. There is so much crammed onto the pages of The Impressionist that some of it, almost inevitably, doesn't work as well as it might. However, as the shapeshifting Pran Nath moves from one identity to another, knockabout farce mixes with satire, social comedy with parody. And beneath the comic exuberance and linguistic invention, there is an intelligent and occasionally moving examination of notions of self, identity, and what it means to belong to a class or society. --Nick Rennison, Amazon.co.uk
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