A lion on the loose; a barking cat; smoke, and a bridal veil
In an indeterminate future in Toronto, people can now live lives of two or three 'generations'; when the time feels right, a person can transition into the next generation. Current personal history becomes irretrievable, replaced by an ideal life story of choice: a neatly concocted fiction which aids in constant rejuvenation. But one day, a strange-looking man-Presley Smith-arrives in the office of Dr Frank Sina, presenting symptoms of Leaked Memory Syndrome or Nostalgia; random scenes from a previous generation flash persistently through his mind. When the Department of Internal Security begins to take an interest in Presley's case, he goes into hiding, and a public search ensues. Who exactly is Presley, and what does this mean for life as his fellow citizens know it?
Dr Sina-rejuvenated in his second or third generation and feeling financially secure but sexually inadequate-struggles to solve this difficult case, even as he deals with his own life. And through it all there is the spectre of the Long Border, separating the rich North and the violence and famine of the failed states. Readers will enjoy this refreshing new turn for Vassanji, as one of the finest Indian writers in English takes us into exciting new territory.
|M G VassanjiM.G. Vassanji