The novel tells the story of Sampath Chawla, who was born in a time of drought that ended with a vengeance the night of his birth. All signs being auspicious, the villagers triumphantly assured Sampath’s proud parents that their son was destined for greatness.
Twenty years of failure later, that unfortunately does not appear to be the case. A sullen government worker, Sampath is inspired only when in search of a quiet place to take his nap. “But the world is round,” his grandmother says. “Wait and see Even if it appears he is going downhill, he will come up the other side. Yes, on top of the world. He is just taking a longer route.”
No one believes her until, one day, Sampath climbs into a guava tree and becomes unintentionally famous as a holy man, setting off a series of events that spin increasingly out of control. A delightfully sweet comic novel that ends in a raucous bang, “Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard” is as surprising and entertaining as it is beautifully wrought.
Desai is a citizen of India and a permanent resident of the United States. She is the daughter of the noted author Anita Desai.
Desai’s first novel, “Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard”, received the Betty Trask Award. Her second novel, “The Inheritance of Loss”, won the 2006 Man Booker Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award.