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324 pages
Published:   May 7, 2024
Fiction  /  Novels
Paperback:   9781773103020    $26.00

An epic tale that spans fifty years, four generations, and two continents.

Perched out of sight in a tree beside the road, Malika, a communist resistance fighter, prepares to assassinate the new governor in a village in the recently independent India. As she prepares to shoot, she recognizes the man riding in the car and hesitates.

The man is Rayappa, who Malika had first met five years earlier in the village of Korampally. Both were deemed “untouchables”. Yet, Malika toiled as a servant in a landowner’s household while Rayappa worked for a visiting anthropologist.

Fifty years later, Rayappa, now living in Canada as Irwin Peter, receives a letter asking for information about Malika. When he decides to return to India with his family, he is forced to revisit Korampally’s turbulent history — and his own. The lingering legacy of the caste system, the brutal invasion of the kingdom of Hyderabad by the nascent Indian state, and the encounter between Irwin and Malika would all have profound consequences.

A brilliant, complex novel, Outcaste radiates with an unquenchable life-force. Shimmering with emotional depth and crackling with vibrancy, Outcaste revisits a complex period in India’s history while imbuing ordinary lives with extraordinarily dramatic dimensions.
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Sheila James is the author of In the Wake of Loss, a finalist for the Ottawa Book Awards. Her videos have been screened internationally, including Unmapping Desire, which co-won the Akua Award for Best Lesbian Short Film at Toronto’s Inside Out International Film Festival.