Defiance is a captivating tale of the march of globalization and its impact on the lives and times of the Santher Guthu family in Ombathkere, a village located between Mangaluru and Kasaragodu. Set in the picturesque Malabar coast of Karnataka in the late 20th Century, the novel takes the reader through four generations of the family. Ambakke, the protagonist, along with her brother Sankappa Hegde, the third-generation descendants of the family form the lifeblood of this story of human relationships in the midst of time and change. The novel is born out of deep contemplation of a community in the face of transition. There is anxiety that grips this part of Karnataka in the wake of modernity. The vast canvas of the novel and the depiction of folk culture provides a unique touch to the saga of the community. Defiance is a novel about traditions and the fear of losing out to modernity. It is about change and the desire to remain rooted.
Set in a fictitious village called Kanthapura in Kasaragod district, Mukhāntara spans across the life of seven generations of a Havyaka Brahmin family. A story about the realities of living in a society marked by caste distinctions, the desire to find communal harmony and the tribulations of the characters through the entirety of the novel, it is also a tale of changing times and people. After unexpectedly coming into possession of a huge portion of land, Thirumalēshwara Bhat of Īshwarīmūle becomes a satisfied man. But childless, Thirumalēshwara Bhat and his wife Pārvathakka decide to adopt Venkappaiah and also give shelter to his widowed mother, Rathnamma. Venkappaiah is to inherit Thirumalēshwara’s vast wealth but when Krishnaiah, the illegitimate child of Thirumalēshwara and Rathnamma is born, rivalry ensues. Through the overlapping narratives of the characters, we get a glimpse into their journey from tradition to modernity. The characters strive to reshape new values when old values are slowly questioned and erased as they move on and are swept along in the waves of globalization.
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