Book Review: Arresting God in Kathmandu by Samrat Upadhyay

Around the World for a Good Book selection for Nepal
Author: Samrat Upadhyay
Title: Arresting God in Kathmandu
Publication Info: Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

Arresting God in Kathmandu is a collection of nine short stories set in Kathmandu, the capital and largest city of Nepal.  Upadhyay, who emigrated to the United States and teaches creative writing at Indiana University,  was the first Nepalese author writing in English to have his work published in the west.  The stories deal with family relationships, generational dynamics of more traditional parents and their globalized youth, and the ever-present class consciousness.I struggled reading this book, because many of the characters and their relationships just seemed mean-spirited (there probably is a better word for what I’m feeling here) and unrelieved by joy or progress.  But otherwise it does provide an unsentimental look at everyday life in contemporary Nepal.

Rating: **

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