The Hero's Walk

The Hero's Walk

A Novel

Book - 2001
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After the release of Anita Rau Badami's critically acclaimed first novel, Tamarind Mem , it was evident a promising new talent had joined the Canadian literary community. Her dazzling literary follow-up is The Hero's Walk , a novel teeming with the author's trademark tumble of the haphazard beauty, wreckage and folly of ordinary lives. Set in the dusty seaside town of Toturpuram on the Bay of Bengal, The Hero's Walk traces the terrain of family and forgiveness through the lives of an exuberant cast of characters bewildered by the rapid pace of change in today's India. Each member of the Rao family pits his or her chance at personal fulfillment against the conventions of a crumbling caste and class system.

Anita Rau Badami explains that " The Hero's Walk is a novel about so many things: loss, disappointment, choices and the importance of coming to terms with yourself and the circumstances of your life without losing the dignity embedded in all of us. At one level it is about heroism - not the hero of the classic epic, those enormous god-sized heroes - but my fascination with the day-to-day heroes and the heroism that's needed to survive all the unexpected disasters and pitfalls of life."
Publisher: Toronto :, Vintage Canada, a division of Random House Canada Limited,, [2001]
Copyright Date: ©2001
ISBN: 9780676973600
Branch Call Number: FIC BADAM A


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May 28, 2018

There is a lot of food for thought....should we walk the Hero's Walk---a life of dignity and
courage or should we live our lives to gain what we can from it and break all the rules of
humbleness, dignity and courage....beautifully written

Oct 18, 2016

I can't say enough good things about this book! The writing was flawless and the story, interlaced with an intricate array of memorable characters, was amazing.

From crochety grandma Ammala to the trio of girlhood bullies who torment Nandana, the characters solidify the neighborhood that surrounds the Rao family as they navigate the changing world around them, from Brahmin supremacy to inclusivity.

Aug 30, 2016

I was bewildered that Sripathi's elderly mother, Ammayya, didn't learn from her son's estrangement from his daughter, Maya, when she opposed her Brahmin daughter, Putti, marrying the rags-to-riches milkman's son. The scenes in this book are emotional, vivid, and lively. In the end, the family moves on with its lives ... it is not "happily ever after." The novel would have benefited from a glossary of Indian words such as khachda, mutthal, and agda-bagda.

Jul 13, 2016

Another Canada Reads novel completed. One sure way to get a good read. I liked this story a lot. It saddens me that so many cultures restrict personal feelings and desires for one's own future. So much sadness in this eastern/western theme.... leaves one feeling rather 'heavy'.

Jul 10, 2016

Loved this book! The book is well organized and beautifully written with a great sense of kind and good humour. One of the main characters - a mother-in-law - may remind someone you may know!

May 21, 2016

Badami deals very well with the Inter and Intra generational conflicts of a South Indian Brahmin family beset by a tragedy. Will the tragedy bring them together or pull them apart? Badami is a great storyteller and handles the delicate subject with finesse.

May 10, 2016

I really enjoyed this book. The struggle of culture and maintaining traditions threaten this Indian family. Letting go and following their hearts finally allowed them happiness.
A young girl orphaned in Canada is brought to live with grandparents in India. How the older generation adapts to changing times.

Mar 26, 2016

Sripathi, an Indian man estranged from his daughter, hears she died in a car accident in Vancouver, Canada, leaving only her daughter behind. Reluctantly, he brings her back to India, where both lives start anew.

Sounds interesting, at least the first half.

Badami sets up the tragedy well in the first half, detailing the strife and troubles plaguing the main character, Sripathi, from his broken relationship with his father, his failure to be a doctor later, to his daughter embarrassing him by revoking the arranged marriage he set up for his daughter. The language and description used for the atmosphere is excellent. Badami shows us the bleak environment that Sripathi lives day to day, and how he feels about it.

When we get to half of the book, the part where granddaughter and grandfather meet, it goes astray. Other chapters are preoccupied with other uninteresting characters and their uninteresting problems. The only redeeming part was reading about granddaughter Nandana, and her difficulty in coping with her new homeland. There doesn't seem to be any growth between grandfather and granddaughter. Things just happen. Then it ends.

Book starts beautifully, but ends flat.

I'm glad the book did not win 2016 Canada Reads contest. Story is more important than character, description, setting, or quality writing combined. The book had the latter, not the former.

Mar 23, 2016

Finalist in Canada Reads 2016 and I absolutely hope it wins tomorrow. I think this book is so beautifully written and takes me to India to see a world I don't know.

Mar 10, 2016

If there is any justice this book will win Canada Reads. The quality of writing; characterization; and setting far exceeds any other of the short-listed books

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