The Walls of Delhi: Three Novellas

The Walls of Delhi: Three Novellas


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A street sweeper discovers a cache of black market money and escapes to see the Taj Mahal with his underage mistress; an Untouchable races to reclaim his life that’s been stolen by an upper-caste identity thief; a slum baby’s head gets bigger and bigger as he gets smarter and smarter, while his family tries to find a cure. One of India’s most original and audacious writers, Uday Prakash, weaves three tales of living and surviving in today’s globalized India. In his stories, Prakash portrays realities about caste and class with an authenticity absent in most English-language fiction about South Asia. Sharply political but free of heavy handedness.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609806514
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
Publication date: 07/26/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

One of contemporary Hindi literature’s most important voices, UDAY PRAKASH was born in 1952, in the remote village of Sitapur in Madhya Pradesh. A Communist Party member in his youth, he fled the region for Delhi during the India’s 1975-77 State of Emergency—though not before attaining with distinction his Master’s in Hindi Literature at Saugar University. Prakash has worked for a range of newspapers and television sources in Delhi, all the while publishing poetry and fiction to international acclaim. He is the recipient of the prestigious Sahitya Akademi award in India, and his 2013 novel The Walls of Delhi was a finalist for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Also a filmmaker and a playwright, Prakash divides his time between New Delhi and Sitapur in Madhya Pradesh.

Translator JASON GRUNEBAUM's short stories and translations have appeared in many journals. His English translation from of Uday Prakash's Hindi novel The Girl With The Golden Parasol was awarded a PEN Translation Fund grant and published by Penguin India. He is senior lecturer in Hindi at the University of Chicago, where he also teaches creative writing.

Read an Excerpt

I ordered two cups of deluxe chai from Ratan Lal, and got my first inkling of how desperate Ramnivas was when I saw him down the piping hot tea in one gulp, burning his mouth and everything else.

It was early afternoon, and Ramnivas, eyes full of pleading, looked at me and said, “Vinayakji, I’ve gotten into a big mess. Way in over my head. Help me find a way out—please! I won’t forget it for the rest of my life.”

I asked him to tell me all about it, and he did; and now I’ve told you everything he told me. When he finished, just as I was about to see if I could find some way to help—Sushma showed up.

“Meet me here tomorrow morning. I’ve got to go,” Ramnivas said, and the two of them jumped in a rickshaw. I watched them ride away until I couldn’t see them any longer. That was the last time I saw Ramnivas.

He won’t come back to this little corner of the street. He’ll never come back. If you ask anyone about him, no one will say a word: not Sanjay, not Ratan Lal, not Devi Deen, not Santosh, and not Madan.

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