Poor, poor, hard-luck Herbert Sarkar: born into a fancy Calcutta family but cursed from birth (his philandering movie director father is killed in a car crash and his mother dies soon after, when he's still just a baby), he is taken as an orphan into his uncle's house, only to fall further and further down the family totem pole. Despite good looks ("Hollywood-ish, Leslie Howard-ish)" and native talents, he is scorned by all but his kind aunt. Poor Herbert: so lovable but so little loved. Cheated of his inheritance, living on the roof in cast-off clothing, he pines for love, but all is woe: his own nephews beat him up.
At twenty, however, he suddenly seems to possess the gift of speaking with the dead. Herbert is bathed in glory. From less than zero to starry heights--what an apotheosis. The wheel of fortune turns again, all too soon...
Legendary, scathingly satiric, wildly energetic, deeply tender, Herbert is an Indian masterwork.
Format/pages: paperback / 112 pages
Publisher: New Directions