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The Zigzag Way

Anita Desai (Author)
Synopsis Eric is an uncertain, awkward young man, a would-be writer, and a traveller in spite of himself. Happy to follow his more confident girlfriend to Mexico, he is overwhelmed with sensory overload, but gradually seduced -- by the strangeness, the colour, the mysteries of an older world. He finds himself on a curious quest for his own family in a 'ghost' mining town, now barely inhabited, where almost a hundred years earlier young Cornish miners worked the rich steams in the earth. Until Pancho Villa and revolution came to Mexico. . . Desai paints a subtle, miniaturist history of twentieth-century Mexico, seen from unexpected perspectives, evoking the exploitation of the Mexican Indians while looking askance at some of their 'saviours' like the formidable Queen of the Sierra, Dona Vera, widow of a minining baron and with a colourful, dubious, European past of her own. With vivid sympathy and brilliantly telling detail, Desai conjures up Eric's grand-parents, and the poignant story of a young English girl whose grave is in a cemetery on a Mexican hillside. On the Dia de los Muertos, the feastday when the locals celebrate and remember their dead, the various strands of the novel come together hauntingly, bringing together past and present in a moment of quiet, powerful epiphany. Mysterious and disturbing, with splashes of exuberant colour and darker violence, this is a magical novel of strange elegiac beauty.
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About the author

Anita Desai

Anita Desai was born in 1937. Her father wat Bengali, her mother German. Educated in Delhi, she now lives in Bombay. Anita Desai was born and educated in India. Her published works include adult novels, two collections of shorts stories and two books for children. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London and the Academy of Arts and letters in new York. She is a professor of Writing at the Massachuset Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachustts.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Zigzag Way
Author Anita Desai
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2004
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Chatto and Windus
Language: English
isbn 0701177438
length vii+182p.