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Ravan and Eddie

by Kiran Nagarkar

Ravan and Eddie are the unlikeliest of companions. For one thing, Ravan is Hindu, while Eddie is Catholic. For another, when Ravan was a baby and fell from a balcony, that fall had a dramatic, and very literal, impact on Eddie's family. But Ravan and Eddie both live in Central Works Department Chawl No. 17--and if you grow up in the crowded Mumbai chawls, you get to participate in your neighbors' lives, whether you like it or not. As we watch the two unlikely heroes of Kiran Nagarkar's acclaimed novel rocket out of the starting blocks of their lives, leaving earth-mothers and absentee fathers, cataclysms and rock 'n' roll in their wake, we're compelled to sit up and take notice. Recently selected by The Guardian as one of the ten best novels about Mumbai, Ravan and Eddie is a comic masterpiece about two larger- and truer-than-life characters and their bawdy, Rabelaisian adventures in postcolonial India. It is also a timeless journey of self-discovery, a quest for the meaning of guilt and responsibility, sin and sex, crime and punishment.

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