A Handful of Sesame

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With a captivating start, A Handful of Sesame plunges us into the heart of the dying years of the 1857 mutiny. But the mutiny is largely a backdrop to the novel. When Kamalanabh of Kashi is manipulated by an impoverished Brahmin of Navalgund into marrying his daughter, the novel becomes basically the story of an internal migration. This is rare, and it remains one of the strengths of the novel. We are so used to speaking of migration across the postcolonial bridge and accredited national borders that we forget that India is a country of endless internal migrations – in the past and the present.

 


 

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With a captivating start, A Handful of Sesame plunges us into the heart of the dying years of the 1857 mutiny. But the mutiny is largely a backdrop to the novel. When Kamalanabh of Kashi is manipulated by an impoverished Brahmin of Navalgund into marrying his daughter, the novel becomes basically the story of an internal migration. This is rare, and it remains one of the strengths of the novel. We are so used to speaking of migration across the postcolonial bridge and accredited national borders that we forget that India is a country of endless internal migrations – in the past and the present.

1 review for A Handful of Sesame

  1. Tabish Khair

    With a captivating start, A Handful of Sesame plunges us into the heart of the dying years of the 1857 mutiny. But the mutiny is largely a backdrop to the novel. When Kamalanabh of Kashi is manipulated by an impoverished Brahmin of Navalgund into marrying his daughter, the novel becomes basically the story of an internal migration. This is rare, and it remains one of the strengths of the novel. We are so used to speaking of migration across the postcolonial bridge and accredited national borders that we forget that India is a country of endless internal migrations – in the past and the present.

    It is to Maithreyi Karnoor’s credit that she manages to execute a [linguistically] difficult endeavor, bringing across Shrinivas Vaidya’s Halla Bantu Halla to the English reader – not just as an Indian or a ‘postcolonial’ novel, not even simply as a generically Kannada novel, but as a novel from a particular location within the richly varied social and literary heritage of Kannada-speakers.

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