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Night Jasmine Tree

“A work of lush and searing beauty, wondrously told with compassion, empathy, and truth.”

– Somerset 2018 First Prize Award Review for Literary Fiction

After his father disowns him over a forbidden love with a lower caste girl, Shankar, consumed by anger, marries her anyway, and emigrates to the US to start a new life—completely cutting himself off from his family in India and vowing never to speak of them again. Now in retirement, as he tells stories from his childhood to his grandchildren, they generate the double-edged effect of charming his grandchildren and at the same time raking up suppressed, unhappy memories.

These arresting stories of his life reveal the silent torment and struggle that originated with his extremely conservative family and grow more crushing every day. These stories, touching and sublime by themselves, provide the structure of this novel, showing unfulfilled promises, dereliction of family responsibility, and missed opportunities that exacerbate Shankar’s anguish. Will the past destroy him?

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