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Mountains Painted with Turmeric [Hardcover]

Lil Bahadur Chettri , Michael J. Hutt

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Book Description

Dec 7 2007

Since its publication in the late 1950s, Mountains Painted with Turmeric has struck a chord in the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Nepali readers. Set in the hills of far eastern Nepal, the novel offers readers a window into the lives of the people by depicting in subtle detail the stark realities of village life.

Carefully translated from the original text, Mountains Painted with Turmeric tells the story of a peasant farmer named Dhané (which means, ironically, "wealthy one") who is struggling to provide for his wife and son and arrange the marriage of his beautiful younger sister. Unable to keep up with the financial demands of the "big men" who control his village, Dhané and his family suffer one calamity after another, and a series of quarrels with fellow villagers forces them into exile.

In haunting prose, Lil Bahadur Chettri portrays the dukha, or suffering and sorrow, endured by ordinary peasants; the exploitation of the poor by the rich and powerful; and the social conservatism that twists a community into punishing a woman for being the victim of a crime. Chettri describes the impoverishment, dispossession, and banishment of Dhané's family to expose profound divisions between those who prosper and those who are slowly stripped of their meager possessions. Yet he also conveys the warmth and intimacy of village society, from which Dhané and his family are ultimately excluded.


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Nepali author Chettri's slender 1957 novel is a descriptive and evocative tale of a young Nepali peasant farmer's run of bad luck. Dhan Dhané Bahadur Basnet, 25, strives to support himself; his wife, Maina; a small son; and his teenage sister, Jhumavati, and buys a buffalo on interest from a moneylender to help plant his family plot. But the buffalo's calf dies, then the buffalo rampages a neighboring field, leaving Dhané responsible for damages. To pay off the debt, Dhané agrees to work another farmer's fields and offers his home and land as security. Meanwhile, Jhumavati is seduced by a soldier and gets pregnant; her shame is so overpowering that she imagines the only way out is suicide. Fate continues to mock this humble family when Dhané beats a buffalo to death for trampling his seedlings, and he and his family are cast out of the village. Chettri's novel is a moving example of social realism, and Hutt's elegant translation lends it a timeless fable-like tone with a gorgeous rendering of the natural scenery. (Jan.)
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Review

Lil Bahadur Chettri's novel is a moving example of social realism, and Michael J. Hutt's elegant translation lends a timeless, fable-like tone with a gorgeous rendering of the natural scenery.

(Publishers Weekly)

A moving novel of social realism.

(Kirkus Reviews)

A simple yet thought-provoking tale... A subtle, eye-opening look at Third World mores, and the winnowing of society's weakest links.

(Booklist)

A real craft product, using patterns and skills honed by history, celebrating our common vision... engrossing, instructive, moving.

(Donald Richie Japan Times)

Mountains Painted with Turmeric is a well-captured docudrama.

(Tim Kindseth TIME Asia)

A flawless translation... [of] a moving and simple story of a universal family forced to leave home.

(Kunda Dixit Nepali Times)

The translation is engaging and accessible.

(Bradley Winterton Taipei Times)

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
This night was not as cold as it usually is in the high hills during the month of Phagun.1 Read the first page
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