‘Cauvery Madhavan’s evocative narrative spins together lives of her characters over nearly seven decades and makes The Tainted a riveting read.’—Shashi Tharoor
• The history of Ireland and India’s turbulent decades bound together by romance, alienation, a quest for belonging and hope.
• Will appeal to both readers of romance and historical fiction.
Praise for the book: ‘A compelling and assured novel of conflicting loyalties and conjoined pasts that resurrects forgotten histories of the Irish in India.’ —Namita Gokhale, writer and co-director, Jaipur Literature Festival
About the book:
The hills of Nandagiri,1920: the Irish Kildare Regiment is part of the vast machinery that holds together the British Empire for the Crown of England. Back home in Ireland, the Irish War for Independence is raging and is met with a ruthless backlash; the Black and Tans—an English paramilitary force set up to crush Irish dissidents—spread death, indignities and destruction wherever they go.
In Nandagiri, Rose Twomey, an Irish-Indian, and Michael, a soldier from the Kildare Rangers, fall in love, defying the social norms of the time that disapproved of such unions. As news of the Black and Tans’ atrocities reach India, anger brews among the Irish soldiers against the Crown they’ve sworn to serve, leading to mutiny, arrests, court-martials and executions. Rose and Michael are helpless in the political maelstrom blowing around them that rips through their lives and dreams.
Sixty years later, in those very same hills, families torn apart by those turbulent decades are forced to reckon with the horrors of the past, heartbreak, loss and alienation, but they may yet, perhaps, finally find healing and belonging.
Through a love story spanning an era of Indian and Irish history, The Tainteddescribes the continued disconnect that many Anglo-Indians live in, unable to come to terms with being unwanted in the country they consider ‘home’ (the land of their White fathers), the bitterness they pass down to their children and their mutually conflicted relationship with a country they are unsure whether to call their own.
About the author:
Cauvery Madhavan was born in India and moved to Ireland thirty-three years ago. She is the author of three books of fiction—Paddy Indian, The Uncoupling and The Tainted. The Tainted was awarded the runner-up prize in SAHR (Society for Army Historical Research) Prize for Military Fiction. Cauvery has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, the Sunday Tribune, The Phoenix and Travel Extra. She lives with her husband and three children in County Kildare and is working on her fourth novel.