!!> Reading ➵ The Limits of the World ➭ Author Jennifer Acker – Varunahuja.live

!!> Reading ➵ The Limits of the World  ➭ Author Jennifer Acker – Varunahuja.live
  • Hardcover
  • 225 pages
  • The Limits of the World
  • Jennifer Acker
  • 02 May 2019
  • 9781883285777

The Limits of the World The Chandaria Family Emigrants From The Indian Enclave Of Nairobi Have Managed To Flourish In America Premchand, The Father, Is A Doctor Who Has Worked Doggedly To Grow His Practice And Give His Family Security His Wife, Urmila, Runs A Business Importing Artisanal Kenyan Crafts And Their Son, Sunil, After Quitting The Pre Med Track, Has Gotten Accepted To A PhD Program In Philosophy At Harvard But The Parents Have Kept A Very Important Secret From Sunil His Cousin, Bimal, Is Actually His Older Brother And When This Previously Hidden History Is Revealed By An Unforeseen Accident, And The Entire Family Is Forced To Return To Nairobi, Sunil Reveals His Own Well Kept, Explosive Secret His Jewish American Girlfriend, Who Has Accompanied Him To Kenya, Is, In Fact, Already His Wife Spanning Four Generations And Three Continents, The Limits Of The World Illuminates The Vast Mosaic Of Cultural Divisions And Ethical Considerations That Shape The Ways In Which We Judge One Another S Actions A Dazzling Debut Novel Written With Rare Empathy And Insight It Is A Powerful Depiction Of How We Prevent Ourselves, Unwittingly And Otherwise, From Understanding The People We Are Closest To


About the Author: Jennifer Acker

Jennifer Acker is founder and editor in chief of The Common Her short stories, essays, translations, and reviews have appeared in the Washington Post, Literary Hub, n 1, Guernica, The Yale Review, and Ploughshares, among other places Acker has an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and teaches writing and editing at Amherst College, where she directs the Literary Publishing Internship and o


10 thoughts on “The Limits of the World

  1. says:

    3.5 starsThis is a deep and complex look at immigration, identity, family and philosophy It s well written and really smart it also introduced me a new population Indian transplants in Somalia There were references to the man eating lions and Tsavo, a story I know from frequent trips to Chicago s Field Museums And there are plenty of big ideas to chew upon.All of that is to say I should have liked it than I did It s good, strong writing about topics I love to read But I didn t like the main characters I liked their stories, but not them That dislike prevented me from truly engaging.Ultimately, I admired this book than I liked it, but I would certainly read this author again.

  2. says:

    This is kind of a difficult book to review for me It s a terrifically written and very ambitious fictional debut, unquestionably That the entire experience has been sort of frustrating for me because I so strongly disliked one of the main characters just seems like a sort of pedestrian aside And yet there it is So then I figured I ll just review separate aspects of the book, of which so many are so very good This is an immigrant story first and foremost, it s about belonging or not belonging within a community, family, country The immigrant family here are Kenyan Indians as in people from India who have moved to Nairobi and created an enclave for themselves back when both countries were under British control In fact, there is a narrative story that provides a historical record of this and it was for me by far the best, most interest aspect of the book I learned something new I wasn t aware of the Indian community in Kenya nor how they lived, their lives in fact comparable to the Jewish plot in prewar Europe, which is to say there were given no land so they turned to commerce and their success in business enterprises have led to the resentment by the locals But essentially these were people without a country they didn t think they had the opportunities back in India, Kenya wasn t especially welcoming there was no political representation for them, etc and once the British left, they didn t really want their Indian subjects to follow So it must have been insanely difficult to live that way and yet the community seems to have managed But at the center of this story is one family that immigrated again, this time to America and about how they did or did not adjust to that All radical adjustments like that are difficult, but it seems to me that is especially the case when one comes from a very traditional i.e restrictive i.e backward culture The second generation Americanizes and does great, but the first generations it s just too difficult Especially for Urmila, wife, mother, business owner and the character I positively loathed And the thing is the book centers on her, it goes to great lengths to describe her thought processes and explain her behaviors, but in the end of the day she s emotionally distant, unpleasant, difficult, unable or unwilling to adapt and especially a failure at being a wife, mother and business owner So much so that the end of the book sees her returning to Nairobi just so she can be once again among the familiar ways of life I suppose her son well, both of them are the successes of the story, because what Urmila represents doesn t bode well for women or immigrants or even people in general Her self pity, the learned helpless quality, the unreasonable stubbornness are extremely offputting The fact that she goes back to Nairobi where someone close to her has recently been butchered on the street for no reason , the fact that anyone would move from US to Kenya is just further prove of her lack of reason Ok, but aside from that there were other, much compelling, likeable and interesting characters in this book There were terrific descriptions, fascinating historical facts, very emotionally engaging dramatic writing The story of Sunil the son and his white Jewish American wife that so threw his mother was in fact, great, a realistically done representation of modern young family The cultural juxtapositions were very well done And the book had something of an epic quality to it, spinning several generations and continents It read like one too, the page count is listed at 250 and either that s off or it s the longest 250 page fictional book I ve read, it seemed way longer than that Overall, well done and interesting, but some readers might find it too heavy and slow From the afterword it seemed like the author might have utilizes some personal experiences for this book, which is possibly what gave it such a realistic quality Thanks Netgalley.

  3. says:

    The Limits Of The World unfortunately fell short of what I expected It s an intriguing premise, and the story is informative in some aspects In other ways, however, the story is dull and lacking a spark It s good but not great I wouldn t read it again Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  4. says:

    I have mixed feelings about this book On one hand I liked it but on the other hand, I was left wanting What I mean by this is that while I liked the location and the concept for the story I was left wanting for that strong, human, emotional connection towards the characters I briefly felt this in the beginning for the first couple of chapters but afterwards, there was nothing The storyline was good I am not taking that away from this book It was the characters None of their voices really stood out to me They kind of just melded together Which in turn may this story be where it could be about any family I did finish this book However, I honestly could not really give you specific details about any point in time in the story.

  5. says:

    Orientalist Academic Thoroughtl dr family extends over continents and generationsThis book was well written if without much emotion I couldn t point to a particular sentence out of whack or any stylistic problem However, it was devoid of feeling The characters felt sort of wooden, like someone knew their story from research but didn t know how to make them breathe There was so much that could have been good in this book It s ambition was to be like Allende or Lahiri, but instead it was like an exercise in strong, boring writing I do also wonder if the author had any person connection to her subject Her only character that had any emotional weight was a white academic who was in a relationship with the Indian American character I wondered if that was her, and why she could do that character some justice Overall, not worth the effort to read Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. says:

    The Limits of the World dived into the relationships of an Indian family that migrated from India to Africa to Ohio I learned many aspects of the Indian culture and their move to Africa to seek jobs I wish that Jennifer Acker had included a glossary of the Indian items, as this reader had trouble in determining the food and other nouns Sunil seemed extremely lazy and content to let his parents provide his monetary existence, even after he marries Urmila stands as a force that propels the family onward to a better life Premchand shows a man disillusioned with his life, but unable to make any changes Th story portrays the differences in a generation, and the new generation s loss of culture and heritage Have we lost too much in our quest for freedom

  7. says:

    Interesting book about the Asian Indian community in Kenya centering around a young, American born Harvard PhD candidate who marries a Jewish girl though it s not really significant that she s Jewish and tries to reconcile with his mother who is unwilling to accept his wife or any of his life choices I knew nothing about the Indian community in east Africa and definitely learned a lot but the story was a little boring at times and some of the characters weren t developed enough to be sympathetic or likable Both audio book narrators were excellent with authentic sounding accents and pronunciations at least to my ears

  8. says:

    This book is an examination of family ties, and family secrets, spanning many continents.

  9. says:

    I loved THE LIMITS OF THE WORLD for its intriguing characters and graceful writing, but what I ll remember most is the unusual risks this book takes and how the author pulls them off For one, there s the ambitious dive into a community and its history the Indian community in Nairobi that I ve never seen represented in fiction For another, there are the sections framed as an audio recording of oral history, told by a grandfather, which are absorbing and vivid Another big risk, and one well worth it the author s choice to include a character that many readers WON T find likable A big part of what this book is grappling with is whether family members from different generations, raised in different cultures, can possibly find a way to understand each other, or even communicate love and belonging The deeper I traveled into THE LIMITS OF THE WORLD, the I was challenged to consider WHY Urmila might communicate the way she does and, by extension, think about bigger questions about how families try and often fail to reach each other, and what we can should expect or at least hope from the people we love That seems like a vitally relevant question, actually, at this moment in U.S history when many families are deeply split by politics and culture I like a book to challenge me, and this one did not only in that respect, but by including a character Sunil who s grappling with big philosophical ideas If you enjoy a good combination of big ideas, being transported to another place time, and complex family drama, this novel delivers.

  10. says:

    Years after Urmila and Premchand married in Nairobi, merging two Indian families that had emigrated to east Africa, the couple made a new home for themselves in Columbus, Ohio Thirty years on and Urmila s still homesick Running her Authentic African Giftshop gives her great pleasure, if not wealth or even financial solvency and funding said retail venture with his medical career doesn t thrill husband Premchand, but with their 30 yr old son Sunil still a student in Boston, distance seems to suit the entire family of three geographically, emotionally, and metaphorically Just as Sunil and his Jewish American girlfriend Amy decide to marry, and only two weeks away from his dissertation deadline, Sunil s mother calls him urgently back home to Nairobi, to the hospital bedside of a brother he never even knew he had Jennifer Acker delves into multi cultural layers of family grudges and secretly harbored hurts, isolation in its many forms, and modern day pressures worldwide Throughout it all, Kenyan history from the Mau Mau terror to the rise of the KANU party s leader Kenyatta is artfully interwoven with the family s own drama, via the so called senile grandfather I love that the author and her husband Nishi Shah resemble Amy and Sunil, and I love this line Fareh teh chareh He who roams advances.

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