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Descripción de la editorial
An adventure brimming with colour, energy and humour -- the acclaimed debut novel from the author of White Tears
This is the extraordinary story of a child conceived in a wild monsoon night, a boy destined to be an outsider, a man with many names and no name.
Born into luxury but disinherited and cast out onto the streets of Agra, Pran Nath must become a chameleon. Chasing his fortune, he will travel from the red light district of Bombay to the green lawns of England to the unmapped African wilderness. He will play many different roles -- a young prize in a brothel, the adopted son of Scottish missionaries, the impeccably educated young Englishman headed for Oxford -- in order to find the role that will finally fit.
Daring and riotously inventive, The Impressionist is an odyssey of self-discovery: a tale of the many lives one man can live and of the universal search for true identity.
A tinted review in adult Forecasts indicates a book that's of exceptional importance to our readers, but that hasn't received a starred or boxed review.THE IMPRESSIONISTHari Kunzru. Dutton, (416p) XPre-pub buzz about this impressive debut includes a record $1.8-million book deal and predictions of literary renown for its 30-year-old author. Charting the bizarre and picaresque journey of a chameleon-like figure from India to England to Africa, Kunzru keenly explores themes of racial and ethnic identity and overweening British pride. Until 1918, his 15th year, spoiled Pran Nath believes that he is the son of a wealthy Kashmiri merchant and a disturbed woman, Amrita, who died giving birth to him. When the housekeeper reveals that he is actually an Englishman's child, and thus a despised half-breed, he's thrown out on the street. After an involuntary stay in a brothel, a stint as a servant in the depraved household of the Nawab of Fatehpur, and a sojourn at a Bombay missionary's home, he moves on to England, where he pretends to be an orphaned heir, Jonathan Bridgeman. With each identity he assumes, the hero strives to become more and more like a pure Englishman and to hide his "tainted blood." As Bridgeman, Pran goes through Brideshead-era Oxford and falls in love with a seductive heartbreaker, Astarte Chapel. When she dumps him, he despairingly joins an anthropological expedition to the Fotse tribe in Africa; in the plot's most clever twist, he comes full circle with his real father's life. While the initial chapters are somewhat heavy-handed, and the plot stalls in its overfamiliar satire of the Oxford aesthetes, the African chapters exude a Paul Bowles like power, and the seamlessly composed, vividly exotic set pieces exhibit an energy and density not usually found in debut fiction. London talents like Kunzru and Zadie Smith suggest that something like the Latin American boom of the '60s is happening in England. Author tour; rights sold in France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Israel, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and U.K.