The Keene Toadstool Hosts
presenting her novel, a May Indie Next Title,
The East Indian
Saturday, May 13th at 11 am
Inspired by a historical figure, an exhilarating debut novel about the first native of the Indian subcontinent to arrive in Colonial America--for readers of Esi Edugyan and Yaa Gyasi.
Meet Tony: insatiably curious, deeply compassionate, with a unique perspective on every scene he encounters. Kidnapped and transported to the New World after traveling from the British East India Company's outpost on the Coromandel Coast to the teeming streets of London, young Tony finds himself in Jamestown, Virginia, where he and his fellow indentured servants--boys like himself, men from Africa, a mad woman from London--must work the tobacco plantations. Orphaned and afraid, Tony initially longs for home. But as he adjusts to his new environment, finding companionship and even love, he can envision a life for himself after servitude. His dream: to become a medicine man, or a physician's assistant, an expert on roots and herbs, a dispenser of healing compounds.
Like the play that captivates him--Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream--Tony's life is rich with oddities and hijinks, humor and tragedy. Set during the early days of English colonization in Jamestown, before servitude calcified into racialized slavery, The East Indian gives authentic voice to an otherwise unknown historic figure and brings the world he would have encountered to vivid life. In this coming-of-age tale, narrated by a most memorable literary rascal, Charry conjures a young character sure to be beloved by readers for years to come.
Brinda Charry came to the United States from India as a graduate student in 1999 and has been living here since. She is a novelist-turned-academic-returned-novelist. A specialist in English Renaissance literature (Shakespeare and contemporaries), she has published a number of books and articles in that field. The East Indian will be her first novel published in the United States. She currently lives in Keene, New Hampshire, with her husband and dog.
For this event, Brinda will be In Conversation with her fellow colleague Chris Parsons.