Friday, August 17, 2007

Books: The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

The only part of 'The Inheritance of Loss' by Kiran Desai that I liked or is likely to remain in the memory is the section when one of the characters, Biju, works for a time in a bakery on La Salle and Broadway on the upper west side of Manhattan, a place I went to a couple of times when I visited New York for a summer ten years ago. The bakery was just about to close when I was there but Desai, whose story is set in the mid-80's, describes it accurately, even down to the detail of its speciality apricot pastries, a delicacy I recall indulging in with pleasure. Another memory of that summer was coming out of the apartment late one Saturday evening to be told by our neighbours that 'Your Queen is dead' and then hearing on the taxi radio as we headed down to the Scratcher bar in the East Village the news that Diana Spencer had been killed in Paris. She wasn't our Queen but she was dead.

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