Notes on a Marriage – Selma Carvalho


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In his younger days, Alfred Hughes had been quite the Nineties revolutionary at his university in England, clad in faded army fatigues and smoking Cuban cigars. They called him Ch? Freddo. His comrades-in-arms were Nido—Nitin—son of divorced Indian immigrants, and Eugenia—ardent admirer of Sylvia Plath, who believed that one had to sacrifice everything for a cause, be fearless in death. Into this mix came Anju Kale, of British-Asian heritage, the only child of a disheartened Indian Marxist father and a submissive, but wealthy, English mother, and her entry into this tightly-knit group caused all equations to shift and change.

As time goes by, Freddo gives up revolution for the security of a college professorship, Nido for a job at Goldman Sachs. Anju marries Freddo and tries to come to terms with his serial philandering, in a marriage precariously held together by middle-class sensibilities. And the devastating secret about what happened to Eugenia.

Until Anju too finds herself caught in an extra-marital relationship. Trapped between the need for fulfilment and a love of stability, Anju must redefine what it means to be a family.

In prose that is lyrical and beguiling, Selma Carvalho weaves a story about a marriage that is tender, startling and wise in turn.

This masterful work from the author of the remarkable fiction debut, Sisterhood of Swans, confirms Carvalho’s place in the literary firmament.


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