Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2000.
Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)
Rana Bose’s first novel begins in a comfortable Calcutta neighbourhood where the sons and daughters of the well-to-do have perfected the art of transforming themselves into street urchins. After school and at night, mostly on the threshhold of adolescence, they eagerly mix with fascinating visitors from the edge of town who carry the seeds of Calcutta’s legendary social unrest. Their political activity takes place in the carnival atmosphere of the city’s streets and markets, until a bloody political clash turns them into adults before their time. And while they inevitably grow up and grow apart, their lives remain inextricably linked by the carnage and cover-up they were powerless to do anything but witness.
Set mainly in Calcutta, Houston, and briefly in Montreal, Rana Bose deftly introduces us to a cast of characters who bristle with life. Humour and despair intertwine like strands of DNA – until the human condition is laid bare and ‘recovery’ is finally complete.