Born in Bombay in the year of 1952 Rohinton Mistry graduated with a degree in Mathematics from the University of Bombay in 1974. He migrated to Canada with his wife the following year, settling in Toronto, where he worked as a bank clerk, studying English and Philosophy part-time at the University of Toronto and completing his second degree in 1982. Mistry wrote his first short story, 'One Sunday', in 1983. Because of which he won the First Prize in the Canadian Hart House Literary Contest. It was followed in 1985 by the Annual Contributors' Award from the Canadian Fiction Magazine, and afterwards, with the aid of a Canada Council grant, he left his job to become a full-time writer. His early stories were published in a number of Canadian magazines, and his short-story collection was first published in Canada in 1987. In one of his semi autobiographical novel he depicted the story of a Bombay bank clerk who unwittingly becomes involved in a fraud committed by the government, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Another novel set during the State of Emergency in India in the 1970s. He always takes contemporary topics as his subject matter as for example in one of his stories he tells the story of an elderly Parsi widower living in Bombay with his step-children which was short listed for the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.
This book of Rohinton Mistry is a masterpiece. Enlaced with beautiful writing the book brings new understanding about India's struggles with poverty and caste systems. The cultures and traditions are displayed through this story using four main characters and involving many background characters to make this book so realistic. Rohinton Mistry meshes the lives of four people of diverse backgrounds into a bond that lasts a lifetime. Dina Dalal, widowed and determined to make it as an independent woman in a world where women have little value, becomes the unwilling glue that supports 3 other lives. Maneck Kohlah is a student, sent by his parents from his mountain village to attend school in the city. Ishvar Darji and his nephew Omprakash are tailors escaping the terror in their village by moving to the city to look for work. This unlikely group of people becomes dependent on each other out of necessity, their lives entangling to create the basis of the story as well. This book is sometimes crude while sometimes cruel. The story mainly deals with the story of India during the 70s and the changes it was going through as well as the corrupt government. Here's a book to make an American feel the privileges our country gives us, or any truly free country.
Being published by the Vintage publishing house 'A Fine Balance' is written by Rohinton Mistry, which is a tale of four persons from different background living in a same place.
(Last Updated on : 06-01-2009)
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