Possessing encyclopedia-like intelligence, unusual zookeeper's son Pi Patel sets sail for America, but when the ship sinks, he escapes on a life boat and is lost at sea with a dwindling number of animals until only he and a hungry Bengal tiger remain.
'Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America...' So speaks the mysterious stranger at a Lahore cafe as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this speaker of immaculate English to seek you out.
Chronicles the lifelong friendship and rivalry between Feliu Delargo, a Catalan cellist, and eccentric piano prodigy Justo Al-Cerraz, a relationship that is dramatically transformed by the arrival in their lives of Aviva, an Italian violinist with a haunted past.
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Masterfully brings to life a profoundly exotic yet utterly recognizable family in the midst of social upheaval in an evocative story that spans the lifetime of one woman in a Brahmin household from 1896 through 1962, in a novel inspired by the author's grandmother's stories. Reprint