In the Family Way

For some readers, the final 200 pages of two-time Booker Prize nominee Rohinton Mistry's 1995 novel A Fine Balance were an out-of-body reading experience. You forgot the day of the week. You forgot where you were. Interruptions were waved off impatiently. The only sound that registered was the breaking of your heart. As one harrowing scene followed another, you silently pleaded with the author to spare his characters. They had already suffered so much. They deserved even an Indian long shot at happiness.

It was not to be, for balance had been lost, both in the Bombay of...

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