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published: Sep 2017
ISBN:9781550509298
publisher: Coteau Books

Extended Families

A Memoir of India

by Ven Begamudré

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extended family, personal memoirs, cultural heritage
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $12.95
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback
published: Sep 2017
ISBN:9781550509298
publisher: Coteau Books
Description

In Extended Families: A Memoir of India, 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 Begamudré

Ven Begamudré 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. Begamudré has completed numerous writer-in-residence appointments, most recently at Iowa State University. He lives in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Author profile page >
Awards
  • Winner, Regina Public Library Book of the Year Award, Saskatchewan Book Awards
Editorial Reviews

"Begamudré is an excellent storyteller. We hear tales of a singer uncle who was in hiding from the Criminal Investigation Department for his subversive involvement in the Quit India movement, an aunt who was a savvy politician, and Begamudré's mother, who committed suicide by setting herself on fire. The stories that comprise Extended Families are compelling, and the quiet purpose of their telling is revealed slowly. These are Begamudré's life stories-- a saga of immigration and return, divorced parents, powerful family, and belonging and not fitting in.”

— EVENT Magazine review of Extended Families

“What [Begamudré] found in India was the opposite of belonging or self. Instead, his journal entries from this trip reveal alienation, dispersal, self-annihilation – what a young man with ambitions to become a writer might deem unbearable "gaps." But it is exactly these gaps – and the young writer's attempt to bridge them in fiction (reproduced here) – that makes this material, returned to in 1991, so interesting...Not a memoir of identity but of reinvention."

— Globe & Mail review of Extended Families

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