Meena has recently arrived in Kalipatti with her pregnant mother Lakshmi. They settle in Abe’s home (Abe is Meena’s deceased father’s older brother), the strange but yet familiar family home where Abe still brews in the injustices of the past and the frustrations of the present. When Florent, a French tourist to Kalipatti, unwittingly interferes with the fragile status-quo of the newly recomposed family, unpredictable events begin to unfold. The brilliant colors, light, landscapes and traditions of rural Tamil Nadu become a backdrop to child prostitution, misplaced and misused good will, and familial, societal and political negotiations of power and privilege.
Vibrantly visual, laden with lore and legend, The Kalipatti Quartet weaves threads of tradition, custom and myth into those of cross-cultural confrontation, jealousy and betrayal and innocent, idealistic and selfless acts of love, faith and generosity. The final tapestry is an intertwined series of cause and effect where truth and misunderstandings take on fantastic proportions, and fantasies are give free reign to become truths. The Kalipatti Quartet speaks of themes that are age-old: the idealism and wonder of youth; fraternal jealousy; life-changing friendship and maternal love, as well as current themes of sex tourism; the shock of colliding cultures and insidious corruption.
The Kalipatti Quartet: Lakshmi’s Misfortune A novel by Julie Wayne Published by Cradle Press, Saint Louis, USA, 2007. buy the book on Amazon (UK) or at barnes and noble (US)