Tale of two broth­ers liv­ing in two cities

CHB Mail - - News - — Chris Bar­row

The Man Who Would Not See By Ra­jor­shi Chakraborti, Pen­guinRan­dom­house, $38 .................................................... A fam­ily in­trigue, uniquely set be­tween Cal­cutta and Welling­ton. A younger half­brother, now liv­ing in Welling­ton, nar­rates the forced child­hood sep­a­ra­tion in Cal­cutta from his el­der half-brother and their re­union 20 years later. The for­mer friends at­tempt to re­con­nect their now very dif­fer­ent lives. Their young, only daugh­ters be­come friends on a holiday visit.

Un­re­solved his­tor­i­cal is­sues ap­pear to un­der­lie the bizarre, per­haps Machi­avel­lian, be­hav­iour of the el­der half-brother, who seems in­tent on caus­ing prob­lems. Or does he have a more wellinten­tioned agenda?

Chakraborti, an In­dian na­tional now liv­ing in Welling­ton, beau­ti­fully de­scribes the charms of Welling­ton and the New Zealand way of life while sub­tly draw­ing at­ten­tion to the mod­ern malaise of the middle class. The novel clips along at pace, but with the ro­bust char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion and philo­soph­i­cal di­a­logue in which tal­ented ob­servers of hu­man dy­nam­ics ex­cel.

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