My Father’s Garden

My Father’s Garden

SHORTLISTED FOR THE JCB PRIZE FOR LITERATURE 2019

Spanning half a life, My Father’s Garden tells the story of a young doctor—the unnamed narrator—as he negotiates love and sexuality, his need for companionship, and the burdens of memory and familial expectation.

The opening section, ‘Lover’, finds him studying medicine in Jamshedpur. At college, he discovers an all-consuming passion for Samir, a junior, who possesses his body, mind and heart. Yet, on their last morning together, when he asks Samir to kiss him goodbye, his lover tells him, ‘A kiss is only for someone special.’

In ‘Friend’, the young doctor, escaping heartbreak, finds relief in Pakur where he strikes up an unusual friendship with Bada Babu, the head clerk of the hospital where he is posted. In Bada Babu’s house, they indulge a shared love for drink, delicious food and convivial company. But when government bulldozers arrive to tear down the neighbourhood, and Bada Babu’s house, the young doctor uncovers a sordid tale of apathy and exploitation—and a side to his new friend that leaves him disillusioned.

And in ‘Father’, unable, ultimately, to flee the pain, the young doctor takes refuge in his parents’ home in Ghatsila. As he heals, he reflects on his father—once a vital man who had phenomenal success at work and in Adivasi politics, then an equally precipitous downfall—and wonders if his obsessive gardening has anything to do with the choices his son has made.

Written with deep empathy and searing emotional intensity, and in the clear, unaffected prose that is the hallmark of Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s style, My Father’s Garden marks a major talent of Indian fiction writing at the top of his form.

Title:My Father’s Garden
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9789388326223
Format Type:

    My Father’s Garden Reviews

  • Rakhi Dalal

    My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar is his fourth published work. For his debut novel, The Mysterious Ailment of Rupi Baskey, Shekhar won the prestigious Sahitya Academy Yuva Puraskar fo...

  • Pankaj Giri

    Lately, I had heard a lot about Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar. All his books had won/were nominated for awards, and he is regarded as one of the finest modern Indian authors. So, when I spotted this book a...

  • Padmaja (thebookishtales)

    "I once read somewhere that the single minded persuit of one's course over a lifetime can only be justified if one engages in two enterprises- building a garden, or raising a child. I now understand t...

  • Thushara

    2.5 starsDisappointed...

  • Chitra Ahanthem

    This is a book that is not going to be easily cast into regular structures of ‘novel’ ‘short story collection’ or ‘part memoir’: suffice to say it is each one of these and all of it togeth...

  • aman caur

    a wonderful take on desire, alienation and masculinity....

  • Murtaza Kuwarawala

    Title : My Father's GardenAuthor : Hansda Sowvendra ShekharPicking up a book by an Indian Author has always been an interesting experience for me. Some of them being right down as cringefest and some ...

  • Sindhuja ?

    "..my father's garden is his true child. And this child gives him the happiness and peace of mind that nothing else could ever give him.".My Father's Garden, by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, is a fine Ind...

  • Ashish Kumar

    My Father’s Garden by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar.I had no expectations from this at all. I saw some people reading it and enjoying it so I too borrowed it from the library without even reading what it...

  • Sayantoni Das

    My Father's Garden is raw, unprecedented and haunting. It sternly explores the cultural divides, caste discriminations and political-economic background of the Advasis. But it does not stop at just th...