The Assassin's Song

The Assassin's Song

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
The magnificent new novel from the award-winning author of The In-Between World of Vikram Lall (“This beautiful novel . . . is proof that fictional truth can illuminate an epoch in history like nothing else”—The Boston Globe).

In the aftermath of the brutal violence that gripped western India in 2002, Karsan Dargawalla, heir to Pirbaag—the shrine of a mysterious, medieval sufi—begins to tell the story of his family and the shrine now destroyed. His tale opens in the 1960s: young Karsan is next in line after his father to assume lordship of the Shrine of the Wanderer, and take his place as a representative of God to the multitudes who come there. But he longs to be “just ordinary”—to play cricket and be part of the exciting world he reads about in the stacks of newspapers a truck driver brings him from all across India. And when, to his utter amazement, he is accepted at Harvard, he can’t resist the opportunity to go finally “into the beating heart of the world.”

Despite his father’s epistolary attempts to keep Karsan close to traditional ways, the excitements and discoveries of his new existence in America soon prove more compelling, and after a bitter quarrel he abdicates his successorship to the ancient throne. Yet even as he succeeds in his “ordinary” life—marrying and having a son (his own “child-god”), becoming a professor in suburban British Columbia—his heritage haunts him in unexpected ways. After tragedy strikes, both in Canada and in Pirbaag, he is drawn back across thirty years of separation and silence to discover what, if anything, is left for him in India.

A story of grand historical sweep and intricate personal drama, a stunning evocation of the physical and emotional landscape of a man caught between the ancient and the modern, between legacy and discovery, between the most daunting filial obligation and the most undeniable personal yearning—The Assassin’s Song is a heartbreaking ballad of a life irrevocably changed.

Baker & Taylor
Destined to assume lordship of the thirteenth-century Sufi shrine of Pirbaag in western India after his father, Karsan Dargawalla instead heads off to Harvard, becomes a professor, marries and becomes a father, and leads a suburban life in British Columbia, until dual tragedies send him back to India after a thirty-year absence to come to terms with his heritage. 30,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
In the aftermath of the brutal violence that gripped western India in 2002, Karsan Dargawalla, heir to Pirbaag - the shrine of a mysterious, medieval sufi - begins to tell the story of his family and the shrine now destroyed. His tale opens in the 1960s: young Karsan is next in line after his father to assume lordship of the Shrine of the Wanderer, and take his place as a representative of God to the multitudes who come there. But he longs to be "just ordinary" - to play cricket and be part of the exciting world he reads about in the stacks of newspapers a truck driver brings him from all across India. And when, to his utter amazement, he is accepted at Harvard, he can't resist the opportunity to go finally "into the beating heart of the world."
Despite his father's epistolary attempts to keep Karsan close to traditional ways, the excitements and discoveries of his new existence in America soon prove more compelling, and after a bitter quarrel he abdicates his successorship to the ancient throne. Yet even as he succeeds in his "ordinary" life - marrying and having a son, becoming a professor in suburban British Columbiahis heritage haunts him in unexpected ways. After tragedy strikes, both in Canada and in Pirbaag, he is drawn back across thirty years of separation and silence to discover what, if anything, is left for him in India.
A story of grand historical sweep and intricate personal drama, an evocation of the physical and emotional landscape of a man caught between the ancient and the modern, between legacy and discovery, between the most daunting filial obligation and the most undeniable personal yearning - The Assassin's Song is a ballad of a life irrevocably changed.

Baker
& Taylor

Having left India as a teenager after refusing to succeed his father as the lord of a Sufi shrine, Karsan Dargawalla attended Harvard and became a professor living in British Columbia, until dual tragedies sends him back to India to come to terms with his heritage.

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007
Edition: 1st United States ed
ISBN: 9781400042173
1400042178
Branch Call Number: Fiction Vassanji
Characteristics: 313 p. ; 25 cm

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scottwilson101
Nov 22, 2011

http://hardcovernudity.blogspot.com/2011/11/assassins-song-novel-by-mg-vassanji.html

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librarychik
Jun 02, 2008

Enjoyable but I really had to pay attention. The story moved around in time, to the distant past and near past and also geographically. Engaging and well written

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Cabby
Feb 08, 2008

Amazon.ca top 25 books of 2007.

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quagga Nov 02, 2012

Do we always end up where we really belong? Do I belong here?

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