Ursula K Le Guin

Shagun Marriage

Custody

By

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Manju Kapur’s novel focuses exclusively on the relationships of a small group of people, what they feel about themselves and one another, and what they say. There is almost no visual, tactile or aural impression of the world they inhabit. The setting, mostly the city of Delhi, is barely sketched: a tense journey through a city-wide traffic jam is the only vivid sequence I can recall. Kapur often locates a scene simply with a word or two (‘Shagun in Madan Singh’s office’), as if she were writing a screenplay instead of a novel and could leave the physical setting up to the cameraman. 

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