A Bad Character: A Novel by Deepti Kapoor

By Deepti Kapoor

A hugely charged fiction debut a couple of younger girl in India, and the affection that either shatters and transforms her

She is twenty, stressed in New Delhi. Her mom has died; her father has left for Singapore.

He is some years older, simply again to India from New York.

When they meet in a café one afternoon, she—lonely, hungry for adventure, craving to damage freed from tradition—casts apart her fears and throws herself headlong right into a love affair, one who takes her the place she hasn't ever been before.

Told in a voice immediately gritty and lyrical, mournful and frank, a nasty personality marks the arriving of an astonishingly proficient new author. it really is an unforgettable hymn to a deadly, exhilarating urban, and a portrait of hope and its effects as undying because it is common.

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Sample text

The flesh around my eyes takes on the purple of a bruise. Such a spurt of growth that my clothes don’t fit me any more. And I can never again wear my tartan dress. Around this time my extended family becomes secure, finds wealth. My father’s brothers, all moving forward in the world. Not spectacularly, not extraordinarily so, but more than enough to survive. The economy is opening up. Jobs are found. Land is bought and sold. Then come the cars, the washing machines, the televisions, the cousins sent off to America to study, to become doctors, accountants, lawyers and bankers.

I was walking up towards Union Square when someone called, a relative, my father’s cousin, I hadn’t spoken to him in years. I hadn’t spoken with my parents in a month. I kept walking as he spoke and then I stopped. He told me they were dead. He stubs his cigarette out, lights another. But listen, it wasn’t grief I felt when I heard they were dead. Nothing like that. It was the most incredible feeling of a weight being lifted. It was a feeling of being free. Of being beyond judgement. Of course I loved them, but I was afraid of them too.

Not spectacularly, not extraordinarily so, but more than enough to survive. The economy is opening up. Jobs are found. Land is bought and sold. Then come the cars, the washing machines, the televisions, the cousins sent off to America to study, to become doctors, accountants, lawyers and bankers. All the bases are covered. But we do nothing, go nowhere. Though my father still sends money, we are displaced, shoved aside. I keep my head down in school and get lost in my dreams, but my mother sits outside it all, the exile, watching the rest of them in silence in the frozen halls of our home, becoming suddenly old, her hair getting tangled in knots.

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