Set in Samrat Upadhyay’s signature and timeless Nepal, The City Son offers a vivid portrait of a scorned woman’s lifelong obsession with revenge and the devastating ramifications for an impressionable young man.
Acclaimed and award-winning author Samrat Upadhyay—the first Nepaliborn novelist writing in English to be published in the West—has crafted a spare, understated work examining a taboo subject: a wife’s obsession with her husband’s illegitimate son. When Didi discovers that her husband, the Masterji, has been hiding his beautiful lover and their young son, Tarun, in a nearby city, she takes the Masterji back into her grasp and expels his second family. Tarun’s mother, heartsick and devastated, slowly begins to lose her mind, and Tarun turns to Didi for the mothering he longs for. But as Tarun gets older, Didi’s domination of the boy turns from the emotional to the physical, and the damages she inflicts spiral outward, threatening to destroy Tarun’s one chance at true happiness. Potent, disturbing, and gorgeously stark in its execution, The City Son is a novel not soon forgotten.