Cracking India

Cracking India

A Novel

Book - 2006
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The 1947 Partition of India is the backdrop for this powerful novel, narrated by a precocious child who describes the brutal transition with chilling veracity. Young Lenny Sethi is kept out of school because she suffers from polio. She spends her days with Ayah, her beautiful nanny, visiting with the large group of admirers that Ayah draws. It is in the company of these working class characters that Lenny learns about religious differences, religious intolerance, and the blossoming genocidal strife on the eve of Partition. As she matures, Lenny begins to identify the differences between the Hindus, Moslems, and Sikhs engaging in political arguments all around her. Lenny enjoys a happy, privileged life in Lahore, but the kidnapping of her beloved Ayah signals a dramatic change. Soon Lenny's world erupts in religious, ethnic, and racial violence. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, the domestic drama serves as a microcosm for a profound political upheaval.
Publisher: Minneapolis : Milkweed Editions, 2006, c1991.
ISBN: 9781571310484
Branch Call Number: FIC Sidhw 3583mm 1
FIC Sidhw 3583ag 1
Characteristics: 289 p.
Additional Contributors: Sidhwa, Bapsi


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WVMLStaffPicks Oct 20, 2014

The inspiration for Deepa Mehta’s 1998 film Earth, this historical novel tells the story of a Parsee girl growing up in Lahore, against the hellish backdrop of partition of the Indian subcontinent. Through her young eyes, we experience violence, betrayal, and the shattering of intercommunal friendships. With identifiable characters and disillusioning twists, the book forces readers to question how they would behave in similar situations.

Feb 12, 2014

A book about partition, told from a child's perspective. It is description, not analysis. Although well reviewed when published and used by Meehta for her film, "Earth", the book was disappointing. The film was more interesting.

Faiza Ahsan
Oct 21, 2010

'Cracking India' is one of those books that documents life with its most poignant tragedies alongside the most touching hilarious moments in a person's life. Written by a minority writer of Pakistan, it captures the essential tragedy in the moments of Indo-Pak Partition, and shows how the family units, the communal lives and human relationships deteriorated beyond comprehension. A very touching book.

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