Rana Dasgupta “Solo”

by Chris Devonshire-Ellis

May 5th, 2009

A strange, yet compelling novel, “Solo” is the account of a 100 year old man from Bulgaria, eyesight failing, as he daydreams and remembers his exotic past. Ghosts drift in and out of the pages as he recalls a land whose history is a mix of European and Asian. It is full of engaging spin-offs as ideas, such as the flock of parrots, who had grown used to mimicry and would copy and speak the language of a remote tribe. When the unfortunate tribe is wiped out in an earthquake and floods, linguistics descend upon the parrots to try and understand the roots of all that remains of a unique language. The novel is Gupta’s second, and he maintains his position as a writer to be on the look out for.