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My Beloved Life

My Beloved Life

An exceptionally moving novel that traces the arc of a man's life, starting from his 1935 birth in a small village in India.

Jadunath Kunwar's beginnings are humble, even inauspicious. His mother, while pregnant, nearly dies from a cobra bite. And this is only the first of many challenges in store for Jadu. As his life skates between the mythical and the mundane, Jadu finds meaning in the most unexpected places. He meets the sherpa who first summited Everest. He befriends poets and politicians. He becomes a historian. And he has a daughter, Jugnu, a television journalist with a career in the United States—whose perspective sheds new light on Jadu.

All the while, currents of huge change sweep across India—from Independence to Partition, Gandhi to Modi, the Mahabharata to Somerset Maugham, cholera to covid—and buffet both Jadu and Jugnu’s lives.

Piercing, fleet-footed, and undeniably resonant, here is a novel from a singularly gifted writer about how we tell stories and write history, how individuals play a counterpoint to big movements, how no single life is without consequence.