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Ram Karan, a corrupt official in the Delhi school system, lives in one of the city’s slums with his widowed daughter and his eight-year-old granddaughter. Bumbling, ironical, sad, Ram is also a man tortured by a terrible guilty secret. When Rajiv Gandhi, the soon-to-be Prime Minister, is murdered, the country is plunged into confusion and Ram, as his department’s resident bribe-collector, is trapped in a series of escalating, potentially deadly political betrayals. While he tries to protect himself and his family, his daughter reveals a crime that he had hoped would be buried forever. An Obedient Father takes the reader to an India that is both far away and real – into the mind of a character as tormented, funny, and morally ambiguous as one of Dostoevsky’s anti-heroes. This is a subtly rendered tragicomedy of contemporary India by an enormously gifted young writer.
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