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“A Delhi Obsession by M. G. Vassanji is a love tragedy worthy of Shakespeare. But for those of us who are not drawn to that genre, it is much more. Vassanji gives us a glimpse into modern-day India with its beauty and turmoil. This complex country serves the perfect backdrop to the complicated yet pure romance of Mohini and Munir. We see the dangers of religious zealotry and fierce nationalism through the lens of this impossible relationship. Vassanji contrasts the perspectives of Mohini, an Indian-born Hindu woman and Munir, a secular Canadian man. The need to label people by religion seems strange and foreign to Munir while being central to Mohini’s world-view. It is the exploration of these different perspectives and the look at modern-day India and her politics and their effects that make this an excellent listen.”
Nancy, Raven Book Store
Two-time Giller Prize winner M.G. Vassanji returns with a powerful new novel about grief and second chances, tradition and rebellion, set in vibrant present-day Delhi.
Munir Khan, a recent widower from Toronto, on a whim decides to visit Delhi, the city of his forbears. Born in Kenya, he has lost all family connections, and has never visited India before.
While sitting in the bar of the Delhi Recreational Club where he's staying, an attractive woman joins his table to await her husband. A sparring match ensues. The two are from different worlds: Munir is a westernized agnostic of Muslim origin; Mohini, a modern Hindu woman. Utterly witty and charming, she's religiously traditional, but also a liberal and provocative newspaper columnist. Against her better judgment, Mohini agrees to show Munir around the city. As they explore the thriving markets and historical buildings of Old Delhi, an inexplicable attraction begins.
What follows is a passionate love affair--uncontrollable yet impossible. This is a period of rising Indian nationalism in modern India that at times finds outlet in senseless violence. Constantly lurking at Munir's Club is the menacing and foreboding presence of a fanatical nationalist group. To them Munir Khan is simply a Muslim "love-jihadi" who has led the pride of Hindu womanhood, Mohini Singh, astray. At what cost, their passion?
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