Author: Kiran Nagarkar
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8172233604
Now in paperback edition, Cuckold is that rarest of books, a profoundly thought-provoking, and intensely moving novel that is also a compulsive page-turner.
The time is early 16th century. The Rajput kingdom of Mewar is at the height of its power. It is locked in war with the Sultanates of Delhi, Gujarat and Malwa. But there is another deadly battle being waged within Mewar itself. Who will inherit the throne after the death of the Maharana? The course of history, not just of Mewar but of the whole of India, is about to be changed forever. That is the bare plot-line. It is a singularly inadequate description of the scope and richness of the novel.
Nagarkar subtly plays with form and tradition and breaks new ground, enlarging our notions of fiction. He takes the sweep and breadth of the epic with its panoply of war, intrigue and action and introduces a deeply introspective and reflective note into it. He sets up the old triangle of man, woman and lover and pushes it to the edge to make it a love story like none other.
At the center of Cuckold is the narrator, heir apparent of Mewar, who questions the codes, conventions and underlying assumptions of the feudal world of which he is a part, a world in which political and personal conduct are dictated by values of courage, valor and courtesy; and death is preferable to dishonor.
A quintessentially Indian story, Cuckold has an immediacy and appeal that are truly universal. One thing is certain; Cuckold will become a part of your life as few characters and books ever have.