Clear Light of Day
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. James Mustich in his 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die recommends this as a "moving and atmospheric novel" about two sisters who clearly love each other, but whose relationship is strained, caring for their autistic brother at home. The novel flashes back from Old Delhi to their childhood in independence-era India. This is very much a family novel, but one that lives in history's shadow.
Set in India’s Old Delhi, CLEAR LIGHT OF DAY is Anita Desai’s tender, warm, and compassionate novel about family scars, the ability to forgive and forget, and the trials and tribulations of familial love. At the novel’s heart are the moving relationships between the members of the Das family, who have grown apart from each other. Bimla is a dissatisfied but ambitious teacher at a women’s college who lives in her childhood home, where she cares for her mentally challenged brother, Baba. Tara is her younger, unambitious, estranged sister, married and with children of her own. Raja is their popular, brilliant, and successful brother. When Tara returns for a visit with Bimla and Baba, old memories and tensions resurface and blend into a domestic drama that is intensely beautiful and leads to profound self-understanding.