Sylvia : Distant Avuncular Ends – Maithreyi Karnoor


‘This is rich concoction that spans continents and cultures, trees and technologies, heartbreak and bonesetters. As strange and varied as the baobab.’ – Jerry Pinto, author of Em and the Big Hoom and Murder in Mahim

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Cajetan Pereira is Bhaubaab (brother-sir) to the people of the village he’s made his home. Even as he searches for his ‘roots’ in Goa, Cajetan yearns for his childhood home in Tanzania, pouring that longing into the project of living near a baobab tree on soil that is his only for historical reasons. Into this strange idyll walks Sylvia, a young woman in search of a story. As they discover a past connection and explore ways to build that relationship, the two bond over the common violence that shaped their trajectories, and an uncanny friendship with their one-time aspiring film-star neighbour.

Over the course of the novel, Sylvia comes into kaleidoscopic focus. She is colleague and friend, wife and prospective lover, and she is herself, living her many lives in many places.

Boldly experimental, Sylvia—Distant Avuncular Ends uses poetry and prose to tell a riveting story at a breathtaking pace. As entertaining as it is poignant, this is a remarkable, accomplished debut.

About the Author

Maithreyi Karnoor was born in Hubli, Karnataka. She has studied for degrees and worked at jobs in Bijapur, Pune, Hyderabad, and Bangalore, and tries to make Goa her home every few years. She puts solkodi in pasta and thinks she knows Konkani because she knows the word moga.

She has won the Kuvempu Bhasha Bharati Prize for translation from Kannada to English. She was shortlisted for the Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize, and twice for the Montreal International Poetry Prize. Her essays, poetry, translations and reviews have been published in most mainstream and literary journals in India.

She is currently putting together her poetry collection Skinny Dipping in Tiger Country, and collaborating with Rhys Hughes on Rainbow Territory, a cross-genre literary work.


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