In Extended Families: Journeys in Time and Place, award-winning author Ven Begamudré traces the history of both sides of his family, telling a story that is both timeless and universal.
"My grandmother's house has two gates. The iron from which they were wrought long ago turned to irony." So begins the story of a South Indian family of high-caste Brahmins, men and women, who guarded a treasury, became electrical engineers, and built dams and power stations. Their stories, told through journal entries, poetry, fiction, and photographs, are filtered through the lens of Ven, first as a boy and then as a young adult and finally, a man. At the heart of the work is the relationship between parent and child, Ven and his mother and father, as they continually fight and separate, first in India, and then, later, in Canada and the United States. The book culminates with the death of Ven's mother in India and the immersion of her ashes.
Stories passed down from generation to generation are intertwined with those of the Hindu gods, beautifully illuminating the eternal bonds of family.
About the author
Ven BegamudrÃ© was born in South India and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was six. Among his publications are a novel, Van de Graaff Days, a collection of poetry, The Lightness Which is Our World Seen from Afar, and a biography, Isaac Brock: Larger Than Life. His short-story collection Laterna Magika was a best book finalist in the Commonwealth Prize Canada-Caribbean division. BegamudrÃ© has completed numerous writer-in-residence appointments, most recently at Iowa State University. He lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.