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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.

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fiction / indian / Maithreyi Karnoor / staff recs / thejaswi recommends /