Darkmotherland is an epic tale of love, betrayal, and political violence set in an earthquake-ravaged country that is at once familiar and dystopian. At the heart of the novel are two intertwining narratives. One is of Kranti, a revolutionary’s daughter, who marries into a plutocratic family and becomes ensnared. The other is of Rosy, concubine to a brutal autocrat, who undergoes her own radical body-changes and recognizes her power. Filled with lovers and widows, pimps and paupers, dictators and dissidents, servants and supplicants, goddesses and genderqueers, Darkmotherland takes its reader through the vast space of a globalized universe where personal ambitions are inextricably tied to political fortunes, where individual identities are shaped by family pressures and social reins, where the East repeatedly connects and collides with the West.
Samrat Upadhyay is Distinguished Professor of English and Professor of Humanities at IU Bloomington. His publications include short story collections Arresting God in Kathmandu, The Royal Ghosts, and Mad Country, along with novels including The Guru of Love and The City Son. He is the first Nepali-born fiction writer to be published in the United States.