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The Konkans: A Novel

Ratings:
320 pages5 hours

Summary

“The saga of an Indian family steeped in tradition trying to find its niche in the suburbs of Chicago . . . Engrossing” (Booklist).
 
“Funny and romantic and heartbreaking” (St. Petersburg Times), this novel is narrated by Francisco D’Sai, a firstborn son of a firstborn son—all the way back to the beginning of a long line of proud Konkans, the so-called “Jews of India,” who abandoned their Hindu traditions, knelt before Vasco da Gama’s sword and Saint Francis Xavier’s cross, and became Catholics.
 
In Chicago in the early 1970s, Francisco’s Konkan father, Lawrence, wants desperately to assimilate into American culture—pursuing a corporate job and launching an uphill battle to join the local country club. But Francisco’s American mother, Denise, a Peace Corps veteran who finds the suburbs utterly boring, wants to preserve the family’s heritage, feeding Francisco’s imagination with proud visions of India and Konkan history—with enthusiastic help from her recently arrived brother-in-law. Sometimes it seems like she’s more excited about her husband’s background and culture than about her marriage.
 
From the author of Whiteman, a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the Sue Kaufman Prize, this is a witty, wrenching portrait of generational, cultural, marital, and historical conflict, seen through one family’s experience.
 
“[A] savvy storyteller with a clear, soulful voice.” —Entertainment Weekly
 
“D’Souza’s compelling tale of one extended family’s trials and triumphs in a foreign land is an astute glimpse of the challenges, dangers, and rewards of assimilation.” —The Boston Globe

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