Married as a child bride to a tenant farmer she had never met, Rukmani works side by side in the field with her husband to wrest a living from a land ravaged by droughts, monsoons, and insects. With remarkable fortitude and courage, she meets changing times and fights poverty and disaster.
This beautiful and eloquent story tells of a simple peasant woman in a primitive village in India whose whole life is a gallant and persistent battle to care for those she loves—an unforgettable novel that “will wring your heart out” (Associated Press).
Includes an Introduction by Indira Ganesan
And an Afterword by Thrity Umrigar
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.50(d)|
|Age Range:||18 Years|
About the Author
Reading Group Guide
Set in India during a period of intense urban development, Nectar in a Sieve was first published in 1954, a few years after India gained political independence from Britain. It is the poignant story of a large poverty-stricken Hindu family in a remote rural village in southern India. The story is told in the first person by Rukmani, beginning with her arranged marriage at age twelve to tenant farmer Nathan.
Rukmani and Nathan love each other and their marriage begins in relative peace and prosperity; however, a large tannery is built in the neighboring village and begins insidiously destroying their lives. As the tannery grows larger and more prosperous, Rukmani and Nathan struggle to feed their children and to pay the rent on the land that gives them life. Although matters continue to worsen, they quietly persevere through ever-increasing hardships—flood, famine, even death—and cling to their hopes for a better future.
ABOUT KAMALA MARKANDAYA
Kamala Markandaya was born in 1924 in Mysore, in southern India. Between 1940 and 1947, she worked as a journalist and published short stories in Indian newspapers. She married an Englishman and immigrated to England in 1948, where she had one daughter.
Markandaya published Nectar in a Sieve, her first novel, in 1954, to wide critical acclaim. A huge commercial success, it quickly became a modern classic. Author Shashi Tharoor put it best when he said, "Markandaya was a pioneer who influenced all of us Indians writing in English."