Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Novel gives us a peek into the lives of modern-day Nepalis through short stories

Prajwal Parajuly provides interesting insights into contemporary life in Nepal in The Gurkha's Daughter, a collection of eight stories.

The Gurkha’s Daughter
Prajwal Parajuly
Quercus

If you’re looking for a period piece about colonial soldiers in the subcontinent, you’ll be disappointed in The Gurkha’s Daughter. But if you want to learn about the Nepalese through contemporary slices of their lives, then this book is an interesting, though sometimes uneven, read.

Prajwal Parajuly's literary debut reveals that some things, such as trying relatives and lost loves, are universal.

Of the eight stories, the last one, The Immigrants, stands out. It's an emotive story of a status-seeking executive and a maid trying to survive in New York.

You must be a fan of the short story genre to appreciate The Gurkha's Daughter, otherwise some of the slices of life may seem thin.

The first story, The Cleft, deliberately leaves us hanging over the fate of Kaali, a harelipped maid in Kathmandu who saves her rupees and plots her escape from a servant's life.

In a recent interview, Parajuly, the son of an Indian father and a Nepalese mother, spoke of the challenge of writing in short form: "Having to resolve stories in a satisfactory ending in six or seven thousand words is far more difficult than writing ninety-five thousand words of a novel where you can go on and on and on in describing a blade of grass for three pages and not think about it."

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Hajer Almosleh, the winner of the last year's short story competition, at her home in Dubai. Duncan Chard for the National

Get involved with The National’s short-story competition

Writers have two weeks to craft a winning submission, under the title and theme "The Turning Point".

 It is believed that the desert-like planet of Tatooine is being recreated for Star Wars: Episode VII. Could that be where filming in the UAE comes in? Courtesy Lucasfilms

Could the force be with us? The search for Star Wars truth

On the hunt for the Star Wars: Episode VII set, which a growing number of people are sure is in Abu Dhabi, but no one can seem to find.

 With an estimated 18,000 comic and film fans having already paid a visit to this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con, organisers are hopeful they will have surpassed last year total, of 21,000, by its close. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

In pictures: Middle East Film and Comic Con in Dubai

Dubai's World Trade Center was awash with people visiting this weekend’s Middle East Film and Comic Con. Here's some of our best pictures.

 Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, presents Quincy Jones with the Abu Dhabi Festival Award as the Admaf founder Hoda Al Khamis-Kanoo applauds. Courtesy Abu Dhabi Festival.

A candid talk with Quincy Jones about the UAE, Lil Wayne and the Abu Dhabi Festival award

The Abu Dhabi Festival honoree Quincy Jones discusses his legendary career as a music producer, the return of Dubai Music Week and why he can’t handle the rapper Lil Wayne.

 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge arrive at Wellington Military Terminal on an RNZAF 757 from Sydney on April 7, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. Chris Jackson / Getty Images

In pictures: Will and Kate visit Australia and New Zealand

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge are on a tour Down Under for three weeks.

 A protester gives a victory sign during clashes near Tahrir Square in Cairo in November 2011. Goran Tomasevic / Reuters

Street life: humanity’s future depends on ability to negotiate and sustain public space

Negotiating our ever more crowded cities and maintaining vibrant public spaces are among the major challenges facing humanity in the coming decades.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National