In 523 BC, the Persian pharaoh Cambyses dispatched an army across Egypt’s western desert to destroy the oracle at Siwa. Legend has it that somewhere in the middle of the Great Dune Sea his army was overwhelmed by a sandstorm and lost forever. Two and a half millennia later a mutilated corpse is washed up on the banks of the Nile at Luxor, an antique dealer is savagely murdered in Cairo, and a British archaeologist is found dead at the ancient necropolis of Saqqara.
The incidents appear unconnected, but Inspector Yusuf Khalifa of the Luxor police is suspicious, as is the archaeologist’s daughter, Tara Mullray. Lured into a labyrinth of intrigue, violence, and betrayal by a mysterious hieroglyphic fragment and rumors of a mythic lost tomb, what began as a search for the truth becomes a race for survival. Confronted by both present day adversaries and ghosts from their pasts, Khalifa and Mullray find themselves on a trail that leads into the desert’s unforgiving, burning heart, and the answer to one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world.
In this literary tour de force, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. For the protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan’s most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess.
We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village, where in 1929, she is sold to a representative of a geisha house, who is drawn by the child’s unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. She is nine years old. In the years that follow, as she works to pay back the price of her purchase, Sayuri will be schooled in music and dance, learn to apply the geisha’s elaborate makeup, wear elaborate kimono, and care for a coiffure so fragile that it requires a special pillow. She will also acquire a magnanimous tutor and a venomous rival. Surviving the intrigues of her trade and the upheavals of war, the resourceful Sayuri is a romantic heroine on the order of Jane Eyre and Scarlett O’Hara. And Memoirs of a Geisha is a triumphant work – suspenseful, and utterly persuasive.
Funny, gorgeous, seriously sexy Aaron would be the perfect boyfriend – were it not for two minor character flaws: his all-consuming terror of commitment and his complete inability to remain faithful. Nevertheless, with his girlfriend Jeena faced with exile to India, Aaron conquers his deep-seated fears and agrees to marry her – for one year only. It’s an arrangement between friends, that’s all. After one year, they will divorce – and things will be back to normal. But it was never going to be that easy. Aaron knows nothing of the Indian way, its culture, its rituals, its idealism. When Aaron marries Jeena, he marries her extended family too. The crises, chaos and complications that follow make for a witty and hilarious read. And despite his best intentions, love has a way of creeping up on a man just when he least expects it…
This is a debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga, providing the details of India’s class struggle in a globalized world. Told though the retrospective narration from the character Balram Halwai, it shed insights on issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. Dark yet amusing, the story slowly unfolds and explains how the character Balram transcend his sweet-maker caste and becomes a successful entrepreneur, after murdering his master.
First published in 2008, and won the 40th Man Booker Prize in the same year.