Man is ultimately alone—and defeated. Through a dense particularity of circumstance this novel breathes a loneliness that imperceptibly takes the shape of universal human ex¬perience. The narrator is a Russian, exiled in India. He is without family, having lost his first wife and child in an acci¬dent and his second, an Indian, through divorce; without friends, having deliberately warded off friendship in an at¬tempt to preserve his identity from being swallowed up by the land of exile. The loneli¬ness of exile and of the un¬attached man come to a head in the loneliness of old age—and, in spite of the promise of a late-found companion¬ship are tragically compoun¬ded in the loneliness of failure.
March-April 1982, volume 6, No 5