ISBN 10: 0393248097 / ISBN 13: 9780393248098
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The debut of a brilliant young writer, Farthest Field tells the lost history of India?s Second World War narrated through the joys and tragedies of a single family, the author?s own. If you loved The English Patient or Rohinton Mistry?s Fine Balance or Arundhati Roy?s The God of Small Things, you will love this book.

Three young men gazed at him from silver-framed photographs in his grandmother?s house, ?beheld but not noticed, as angels are in a frieze full of mortal strugglers?. They had all been in the Second World War, a fact that surprised him. Indians had never figured in his idea of the war, nor the war in his idea of India ? and he thought that he had a good idea of both.

One of them, Bobby, even looked a bit like him, now he looked at this young man from the sleepy south Indian coast, with a sense of adventure and opportunity gleaming from his eyes, so eager to follow his brothers-in-law into the army ? and onto the front lines of India?s Second World War. Bobby?s dashing friend Manek was serving as a pilot and Ganny, married to Bobby?s sister Nugs, as a doctor battling both his asthma and his medical duties high in the mountains of the North-West frontier.

The war brings more than adventure. Bobby?s Parsi family will be torn apart by two marriages outside the caste, only to be soldered afterwards by tragedy.

This beautifully-written book tells the lost history of India?s Second World War narrated through the joys and tragedies of a single family, the author?s own. The narrative travels from Madras to Eritrea, Iraq and Burma, unfolding the saga of a young family amazed by their swiftly changing world and devastated by its violence.

In penetrating prose, Raghu Karnad reveals how the war transformed India, its army and the British Empire that had ruled the country for so long and would, barely two years after the end of the war abandon it to the horrors of Partition. It is a book about family, loss, the unreliable wisps of memory and of three young lives tragically cut short.

Inhaltsangabe:

The photographs of three young men had stood in his grandmother s house for as long as he could remember, beheld but never fully noticed. They had all fought in the Second World War, a fact that surprised him. Indians had never figured in his idea of the war, nor the war in his idea of India. One of them, Bobby, even looked a bit like him, but Raghu Karnad had not noticed until he was the same age as they were in their photo frames. Then he learned about the Parsi boy from the sleepy south Indian coast, so eager to follow his brothers-in-law into the colonial forces and onto the front line. Manek, dashing and confident, was a pilot with India s fledgling air force; gentle Ganny became an army doctor in the arid North-West Frontier. Bobby s pursuit would carry him as far as the deserts of Iraq and the green hell of the Burma battlefront.

The years 1939 45 might be the most revered, deplored, and replayed in modern history. Yet India s extraordinary role has been concealed, from itself and from the world. In riveting prose, Karnad retrieves the story of a single family a story of love, rebellion, loyalty, and uncertainty and with it, the greater revelation that is India s Second World War.

Farthest Field narrates the lost epic of India s war, in which the largest volunteer army in history fought for the British Empire, even as its countrymen fought to be free of it. It carries us from Madras to Peshawar, Egypt to Burma unfolding the saga of a young family amazed by their swiftly changing world and swept up in its violence."

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