Written with exceptional grace and empathy, Brahma’s Dream explores the richness of relationships and the mystery of how one life is defined through its connection to others.
Set in Bombay amid the turbulence of India’s surge towards independence, Brahma’s Dream tells the story of thirteen-year-old Mohini, an unforgettable character whose medical problems set her apart from the world around her, and give her a wisdom and special place in it. Mohini suffers from a rare form of anemia that gradually diminishes her physically but increases her understanding of life in a way incomprehensible to those who move more easily through it.
Under her kind, wry gaze, a family, a city, and a country convulse with idealism and hope. Through Mohini the reader encounters the extraordinary characters who live in her family home, Koleshwar Nivas. Vishnupant, Mohini’s grandfather, is a forward-thinking professor of history who has devoted his life to making sense of India’s past so that the country might fulfil the promise of its future. Keshav, Mohini’s father, who, while embracing the prospect of independence, is eager to hold on to any progress made through British rule. But for both men Mohini is the centre of the universe, as she is for her devoted mother, Kamala, who has sacrificed the intimacy of her marriage to care for her child, and Vasanti, Mohini’s aunt who, having lost the chance at a life beyond the confines of family, looks to her remarkable niece for comfort and understanding. The lives of the Oek family are lived against the backdrop of the confrontation between a far-flung empire and the diminutive Mahatma Gandhi.
A joyous and moving novel, astute and reflective, Brahma’s Dream explores the Hindu belief that all life and all events are only a part of a vast continuum, and that momentous political and social change, birth, marriage, and even death, are only a twinkling in the eye of a god.
From the Hardcover edition.
Shree Ghatage is the author of the short story collection Awake When All the World is Asleep, which won the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and was nominated for several other awards. Ghatage and her family came to Canada in the early 1980s and after spending fifteen years in the Maritimes, recently moved to Calgary.
From the Hardcover edition.
“A wonderful portrait of a family, a culture and a country. [Ghatage] has an exquisite ability to tell a moving story.”
—The Chronicle-Herald (Halifax)
“Delightful . . . Ghatage’s elegant, effortless prose weaves the fine, domestic strands that comprise the Oek’s daily life. . . . In writing Brahma’s Dream, Ghatage took on the challenge of treading some much-explored territory, already trod by rather daunting literary heavyweights. . . . Brahma’s Dream, a quietly captivating, highly accomplished debut novel with a brave and enchanting girl at its heart, suggests [Ghatage] has risen to that challenge.”
—The Globe and Mail
"A coming-of-age story, one all the more affecting for the fact that its heroine’s life is precarious, is combined with a powerful evocation of how history impinges on ordinary people. . . . Ghatage [has a] flair for the unconventional, empathetic point of view."
—The Gazette (Montreal)
"A timeless story about the meaning of life . . . [that is] next to impossible to put down . . . . Ghatage has succeeded in writing a novel that . . . reveals itself to be beautifully complex.”
"Richly textured and utterly absorbing, Shree Ghatage's powerful evocation of Ghandi's India is a work of integrity and deep affection."
—Joan Clark, author of Latitudes of Melt
Praise for Shree Ghatage's Awake When All the World is Asleep:
“In delicate and searching prose, Ghatage uncovers the secret longings, disappointments, and fears of women and men who are a part of the modern world, yet still bound to centuries-old customs and behaviour.”
"Quietly confident... forcefully and often powerfully lays bare the hidden truths, the small joys, and large pains of ordinary life."
—M.G. Vassanji, author of The In-Between World of Vikram Lall