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Stealing the Ambassador

A Novel

Stealing the Ambassador by Sameer Parekh
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Caught between a father who thought success and freedom could be found only in America and a grandfather who risked his life to guarantee such ideals in their homeland of India, twenty-three-year-old Rajiv Kothari is lost in a nation he has always called home and beckoned by the one his father left long ago. Stealing the Ambassador is a literary page-turner that blends the experiences of a first-generation Indian American with those of his immigrant father and revolutionary grandfather, their intertwined stories probing the balance between fiction and history, between old country and new, between fathers and sons.
Following his father's sudden death, Rajiv finds himself alone and bewildered. As he attempts to reconstruct his father's life, he begins to better understand his own, and when he chances to meet a new Indian immigrant, eerily reminiscent of his own father, their uncanny interaction grants Rajiv insight into the euphoria that his father felt when he first arrived in the country and its gradual deterioration into frustrated estrangement.
Events lead Rajiv to a reverse migration, back to the subcontinent of his father's birth. There he reconnects with his aged grandfather -- once a saboteur responsible for bombings in pre-Independence British India and now mysteriously destitute. Discovering the source of this impoverishment, Rajiv is awakened to a second understanding of his childhood hero, a reconsideration that illuminates the relationships between grandfather, father, and grandson while pointing to new definitions of bravery and familial loyalty.
Stealing the Ambassador is a stunning debut from the young Sameer Parekh. In depicting the ways that families are at the source of both our frustration with and our loyalty to identity, Parekh sheds new light on the immigrant experience and on the complexity and power of family relations.
Free Press; March 2002
288 pages; ISBN 9780743238113
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Title: Stealing the Ambassador
Author: Sameer Parekh