The Girl with the Golden Parasol


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Uday Prakash; Translated by Jason Grunebaum

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A novel of dauntless love, corruption, and the bitterness of the ancient caste system that prevails in contemporary India

“Just then, Rahul saw a spot of yellow far away. . . .The yellow glowed beautifully in the morning light. There was something different about this particular yellow. This one entered through his eyes, dissolved in his blood, and went straight to his heart.”
Uday Prakash’s novel of contemporary India is a tender love story—university student Rahul is swept away by a “sweet fever” of love for Anjali, the enchanting girl with the golden parasol. But Prakash’s tale is set in a world where the 3,000-year-old Hindu caste system still holds sway and social realities doom the chances of a non-Brahmin boy who loves a Brahmin girl.
The Girl with the Golden Parasol is the first English translation of Prakash’s work to be published in the United States. His audacious novel captures the profound contradictions of India today, where the forces aligned against change outweigh even the power of love.

Uday Prakash is the author of poems, short stories, non-fiction, films, and documentaries. In 2010 he received the prestigious Sahitya Akademi literary award in India. He is professor-in-charge, Department of Mass Communication, Media, and Journalism, Indira Gandhi Tribal University, Amarkantak. He lives in Ghaziabad, India. Jason Grunebaum is a fiction writer and translator. He has been awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship and a PEN Translation Fund grant. He is senior lecturer in Hindi, University of Chicago. 

Doom-laden yet tender, at once bitterly disillusioned and comic, this terrific novel is a paean to the dignity of human desires and to the last remnants of our bygone cosmopolitanisms. It's also a memorable invective against the present state of provincial higher education, the Hindi language, the Brahmin legacy, and the bewildering India in which we now find ourselves.

—Amit Chaudhuri, author of The Immortals

The Girl with a Golden Parasol brings news from a world that the English novel doesn't even know existed. A contemporary classic by a master of Hindi literature.

 —Amitava Kumar, author of Passport Photos

Uday Prakash’s bhelpuri novel of students out in the sticks mixes up the elements of contemporary India-- mod and trad, caste-bound and upwardly mobile– into an addictive street dish and a comedy of hopelessness. And happily Jason Grunebaum’s zingy translation doesn’t tone down the heat.

--Eliot Weinberger

Uday Prakash’s beautifully written novel is a wonderful mix of light-hearted comedy, the vividness and tenderness of young love, juxtaposed with disillusionment, corruption in high places and the political machinations that accompany it. . . . Jason Grunebaum’s translation is excellent as throughout the story maintains a swift and engaging pace and nowhere does the reader’s interest flag.


Uday Prakash’s The Girl with the Golden Parasol is as much a lesson in the craft of storytelling as it is a good read.

“Yes, The Girl with the Golden Parasol is about caste and its lingering hold in India, and it is about corruption in an age of globalization, and India's notions of national identity, and colonialism. But it's not simply 'about' these things -- or simply a young-love story, either -- as Prakash succeeds in weaving all these together in a surprisingly compelling and compact novel. “ —The Complete Review

“His novel captures the profound contradictions of India today, where the forces aligned against change outweigh even the power of love.”—Asian Art

Longlisted for the American Literary Translation Association's 2014 National Translation Award.The Shortlist will be announced in October 2014.

Received an honorable mention for the tenth annual Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for an Outstanding Translation of a Literary Work.
ISBN: 9780300190540
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
224 pages, 5 x 7 3/4

Sales Restrictions: World excluding India
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