The Cauliflower

The Cauliflower

Book - 2016
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"From Man Booker-shortlisted, IMPAC Award-winning author Nicola Barker comes an exuberant, multi-voiced new novel mapping the extraordinary life and legacy of a 19th-century Hindu saint. He is only four years older, but still I call him Uncle, and when I am with Uncle I have complete faith in him. I would die for Uncle. I have an indescribable attraction towards Uncle. It was ever thus. To the world, he is Sri Ramakrishna--godly avatar, esteemed spiritual master, beloved guru (who would prefer not to be called a guru), irresistible charmer. To Rani Rashmoni, she of low caste and large inheritance, he is the brahmin fated to defy tradition and preside over the temple she dares to build, six miles north of Calcutta, along the banks of the Hooghly for Ma Kali, goddess of destruction. But to Hriday, his nephew and longtime caretaker, he is just Uncle--maddening, bewildering Uncle, prone to entering ecstatic trances at the most inconvenient of times, known to sneak out to the forest at midnight to perform dangerous acts of self-effacement, who must be vigilantly safeguarded not only against jealous enemies and devotees with ulterior motives, but also against that most treasured yet insidious of sulfur-rich vegetables: the cauliflower. Rather than puzzling the shards of history and legend together, Barker shatters the mirror again and rearranges the pieces. The result is a biographical novel viewed through a kaleidoscope. Dazzlingly inventive and brilliantly comic, irreverent and mischievous, The Cauliflower delivers us into the divine playfulness of a 21st-century literary master"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Henry Holt and Company, 2016
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781627797191
162779719X
Characteristics: 291 pages ; 24 cm

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SFPL_danielay Mar 03, 2017

Reading Nicola Barker is always an adventure. In this case she irreverently and imaginatively explores the life of Indian saint Sri Ramakrishna through the eyes of his devoted - or not so devoted - nephew and servant Hriday. It is not only an interesting window into Indian religion but also an exploration of devotion and spirituality.

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