The Grammarian

The Grammarian

Book - 2013
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Hosted by the wealthy Adivi family in a remote part of India while studying the Telugu language in the fall of 1911, French philologist Alexandre Lautens is condemned by the family patriarch for pursuing a relationship with the family's polio-stricken daughter.
Publisher: Berkeley, CA : Counterpoint, [2013]
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781619021020
Branch Call Number: F POTLU-A
Characteristics: 257 pages ; 24 cm


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Sep 14, 2014

This novel captures the essence of the early twentieth Century India, still under British rule. Alexandre Lautens a linguist and philologist from Paris arrives in the small town of Waltair in South India to perfect his knowledge of Telugu and write a grammar book. He gets mired in the social nuances of the family life of his hosts, the Adivis and unknowingly offends them. The elder Adivi daughter, Anjali, is the main female character and the author has portrayed her feelings really well. Also a strong character is the grandmother, Kanakadurga amma garu. Alexandre conveys his opinion of language in one important sentence in the book: "Perhaps, like fear, or love, language is an instinct not a skill." I enjoyed reading this book very much.


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