ONE OF NPR'S BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR •A sweeping debut novel that explores the intimate struggle for independence and success of a young descendant of Indian indentured laborers in Mauritius, a small multiracial island in the Indian Ocean.
"The beauty of Busjeet's splendid, often breathtaking book is, like the best stories of journeys to young adulthood, the precious and well-observed and heartbreaking details of day-to-day life." —Edward P. Jones, Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Known World
In the 1950s, Vishnu Bhushan is a young boy yet to learn the truth beyond the rumors of his family's fractured histories—an alliance, as his mother says, of two bankrupt families. In evocative chapters, the first two decades of Vishnu's life in Mauritius unfolds with heart wrenching closeness as he battles to experience the world beyond, and the cultural, political, and familial turmoil that hold on to him.
Through gorgeous and precise language, Silent Winds, Dry Seas conjures the spirit and rich life of Mauritius, even as its diverse peoples live under colonial rule. Weaving the soaring hopes, fierce love, and heart-breaking tragedies of Vishnu's proud Mauritian family together with his country's turbulent path to gain independence, Busjeet masterfully evokes the epic sweep of history in the intimate moments of a boy's life. Silent Winds, Dry Seas is a poetic, powerful, and universal novel of identity and place, of the legacies of colonialism, of tradition, modernity, and emigration, and of what a family will sacrifice for its children to thrive.