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Young Selvan's life is no longer the same. His family's ancestral land has been sold in order to make way for the construction of a housing colony. Now the verdant landscape of his childhood has been denuded, while Selvan and his family are compelled to move to much smaller lodgings. In the ensuing years, as the pressures of their situation simmer to a boil, Selvan observes his family undergo dramatic shifts in their fortunes as greed and jealousy threaten to overshadow their lives.
Murugan's first novel, which launched a splendid literary career, is a tour de force. Now translated for the first time, it poses powerful questions about the human cost of relentless urbanization in the name of progress.