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Paperback: 232 pages

Publisher: Adelaide Books
(November 2018)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1-949180-39-5

ISBN-13: 978-1-949180-39-8


Product Dimensions:
6 x 0,7 x 9 inches

Price: $19.60

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A VILLAGE UNDER THE STREETLIGHT   
A novel

By Thomas Palayoor

The novel A Village under the Streetlight is the story of a series of events taking place in a small village called Mannoor in the southern part of India, a few decades ago, soon after the country gained independence. The incidents are taking place in a foreign locale with a unique cultural background. It is my belief that readers would be fascinated to be introduced to the men and life of Mannoor.

Taken individually, the events narrated in the work may seem to be independent of each other, having a beginning and end. However, they all are fashioned into a cohesive whole by shared and cross-referred characters among the described events. More significantly, linking and stringing together all the occurrences is the slow-witted protagonist of the novel, Muthoma. His colorful life story is suffused and unrolled all throughout the happenings. Muthoma was born with unusually fair complexion and stood out among his peers. His mother, Lillu, tormented by an unfaithful husband, was driven to Simon, the English pastoral counsellor of the parish, for solace. As they were gradually drawn to each other, the foreigner being a serious artist, asked Lillu to model for him. As the villagers came to know about Lillu’s nocturnal trysts with Simon, he was banished from the village and he returned to England leaving back his canvases. After several years, when Simon returned to retrieve his works of art, he sought the help of Muthoma in the effort. To Muthoma’s surprise and dismay, he found most of the canvases were of his mother in the nude. Simon tried to explain by nostalgically narrating his time with Lillu and abruptly revealed that he is Muthoma’s father.

Muthoma, not being very bright, had an innate sense of goodness, nevertheless. Whenever there was a knotty situation in the village, he invariably appeared in the nick of time to save the day, only to recede into the background, unnoticed. Those circumstances included the release of a love lost and psychotic woman from confinement; coming to the aid of a grieving family during a small pox epidemic; helping to apprehend the culprit in the case of a patricide; coming to the rescue of a maid as she was sexually assaulted by her master.

Thomas Palayoor is a molecular geneticist by training. Before moving to the US, he was active in cancer research in India. In the United States he has worked at the medical schools of Ohio State and Yale universities.
He has received awards in radio play competition and radio play writing. He has published short stories in the Indian language, Malayalam. He has an active interest in painting. His works are mostly abstractions in oil. He has held a one-man exhibition of his graphics in Belgium, a commercial success. He continues to follow his passion to write and paint alternatively. “A Village Under the Streetlight” is his first novel. He lives with his wife in the Boston area.

 

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