Praise for The Better Man


The Better Man is an astonishing book. It is tender, lyrical, humorous and insightful. In Anita Nair's capable hands the exotic setting comes alive and becomes familiar and we see our struggles and triumphs reflected in the lives of these marvelous characters.

- Abraham Verghese,
Author of The Tennis Partner
and My Own Country

A genial, meandering tale… Charming

- New York Times
Sunday Book Reviewy

…a surprising climax that justifies the book's title

- Seattle Times

Anita Nair's second novel upholds the promise of the first...Each of the women are finely drawn [as are their men], each caught in a net of relationships partly of her own making and partly one that is 'made'for her....Anita Nair's low key, sometimes funny and sometimes hard hitting book... is definitely worth a read.

-Urvashi Butalia, The Hindustan Times

This imaginative debut will delight with its remarkable grace unforced humor and elegantly descriptive prose. Recommended for most collections.

- Library Journal

A tone of wistful melancholy and incidents both droll and poignant characterize this first novel…her strength lies in gentle, keenly observed comedy. Overall a warmly affecting depiction…

- Kirkus Reviews

Nair has the magical ability to make all her readers feel, briefly, like Kaikurussi villagers in this humorous, imaginative and gracefully written novel.

- Publishers Weekly

Anita Nair is a fine writer with a great sense of character vivid knowledge of South Indian culture and an eye for telling detail. She can move from tender compassion to sensuality to raging hatred and is a compelling teller of stories.

- The Hindu Literary Supplement

This is a passionate yet introspective story

- Booklist


Imposing debut: Nair's got a style and a future…Rich in local color…explored in fluid prose. Anita Nair has proved her mettle by fathoming the deepest recesses of man's psyche…

- India Today

Sharp characterization and a fiercely intense style

- Times of India

A mistress of minutiae

- The Hindustan Times

A simple tale simply told. A first novel of great promise… Kaikurussi, one tea shop town, somewhere in Kerala comes alive with Nair's pen… Doesn't pander to prefab audiences or juries and conforms only to its own contours

- Indian Review of Books

…well crafted, positively mature and a purposeful narrative, devoid of any artifice or judgement. The Better Man is a visual treat

- Bangalore Weekly

The first fictional village to be made literally famous was R.K. Narayan's Malgudi but in Kaikurussi, Anita Nair has created another homestead that could become just as well known

- Business Standard

It is about every human's attempt to find a degree of inner peace and happiness

- The Pioneer

The author takes the readers through the remaking of a man in a quiet manner, which, far from being dissatisfying, is truly the reason for its success.

- The New Indian Express

Ambitious first novel teeming with colorful characters

- The Asian Age

A better novel was not published by Penguin in 1999. The Better Man takes one 's memories back to such African classics in English as Efuru by Flora Nwapa and Things fall apart by Chinua Achebe… A quiverful of characters who refuse to leave your memory even after finishing the novel. In fact, you cannot ask for a better mix of everything.

- The Deccan Herald

…finely balanced debut…[that] successfully explores undercurrents that run beneath relationships even in an idyll rural setting.

- The Hindu Sunday Literary Review

S I N G A P O R E & M A L A Y S I A

Like a scintillating single from a new band, this novel sets Nair in the canon under 'terribly promising' and will be treasured…

- Project Eyeball

Nair's prose is refreshingly direct…an assured debut novel

- New Strait Times

Nair has captured the pulse of life in the Kerala village of Kaikurussi…characters are drawn with empathy and loving detail

- The Malay Mail

Anita Nair writes fluid prose which smoothens the flow of the novel…spurs the reader to keep turning the pages…this book defies people's expectations of an Indian writer

-The Star






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