5 Fiction Books That Best Capture Christian Life in India
As we celebrate Easter today in all it’s fun, frolic and great food, how can we stay away from the joy that books bring. That. is. the. real. joy. Right? Here we go…we bring you 5 fiction books that capture the beauty of real christian life in India in all it splendour, highs and lows.
Set in Bombay during the last decades of the twentieth century, Em and The Big Hoom tells the compelling story of the Mendeses – mother, father, daughter and son. Between Em, the beedi smoking, hyperactive mother, driven frequently to hospital by her mania and failed suicide attempts and the Big Hoom, the rock solid, dependable father, trying to hold things together as best he can, they are an extraordinary family. This is one of the most powerful and moving novels from India in a long time. The book won The Hindu’ Literary Prize 2012 for it’s fantastic portrayal of endearing and eccentric characters, and marked by sparkling dialogue and restrained emotion.
Othappu is about a woman’s yearning for a true understanding of spirituality and her own sexuality. The novel is a powerful indictment of the hypocrisy that plagues Christianity in many parts of the Subcontinent. Othappu unfolds at many levels to critique notions of class, caste, antiquity, and prestige that have, over time, eroded the power of the first church. Translated from Malayalam by Valsan Thampu this book is a fine line between fiction and non-fiction. Unbelievably realistic.
Read the TP review HERE.
Of all the family gatherings in her childhood, one stands out in Amina’s memory. It is 1979, in Salem, India, when a visit to her grandmother’s house escalates into an explosive encounter, pitching brother against brother, mother against son.
In its aftermath, Amina’s father Thomas rushes his family back to their new home in America. And while at first it seems that the intercontinental flight has taken them out of harm’s way, his decision sets off a chain of events that will forever haunt Thomas and his wife Kamala, their intellectually furious son, Akhil and the watchful young Amina. Now, twenty years later, Amina receives a phone call from her mother. Thomas has been acting strangely and Kamala needs her daughter back. Amina returns to the New Mexico of her childhood, where her mother has always filled silences with food, only to discover that getting to the truth is not as easy as going home.
Confronted with Thomas’s unwillingness to talk, Kamala’s Born Again convictions and the suspicion that not everything is what it seems, Amina finds herself at the center of a mystery so tangled that to make any headway, she has to excavate her family’s painful past. And in doing so she must lay her own ghosts to rest.
A fiction that seems as real as it gets!
Seventeen-year-old Unni Chacko has done something terrible. The only clue to his action lies in a comic strip he has drawn, which has fallen into the hands of his father Ousep, an anarchist. Ousep begins investigating the extraordinary life of his son, blissfully unaware that his long-suffering wife is plotting to kill him. Set in Madras in 1990, this is a darkly comic story involving the relentless pursuit of a failed writer who has found purpose, an adolescent cartoonist’s dangerous interpretation of truth, the plots of a brilliant housewife and the pure love of a twelve-year-old boy for a beautiful girl.
Read the book review HERE
On a hot, humid morning in May 1545, a joint conversion brigade of the Portuguese King and the Pope set out to spread Christ’s message of love and compassion, but they leave behind a deathly trail of murder and mayhem. Armed with a monstrous cannon and scores of firearms, the brigade raids Princess Darshana Kamya Kathodi’s palace in Tana, carrying for her and her people the King’s inviolable conversion orderƒ sealed by the Pope’s promise of a new heaven. The beautiful, 18-year-old tribal princess fights back with her ace archers’ poison arrows. Revenge of the Naked Princess shows how brutal, forced conversions can blur the line between religion and carnage.
Dark but realistic. Another book that makes it difficult to differentiate between truth and fiction.
Enjoy! Happy Easter.