What does an author wish for or dream? That his/her book, blog, short story, essay etc. receive as wide an audience as possible and be published far and wide in as many languages and lands as possible.
This is my dream for Karam’s Kismet, my debut novel. And what has led me to such ambitions? Well, it’s the initial response from readers who are complete strangers, avid book lovers and kind enough to comment positively and suggest reasons why it should be widely read.
It is a unique story and has an obviously disadvantaged protagonist, because of his birthright, the lowest caste in the socially stratified world of India. He is ordained to a life of humility, hard work and poverty. Yet karma and kismet have other plans. My novel is that rare book of historical fiction based on culture and heritage, written in the English language that illuminates the dark underbelly of the Indian caste system and it’s untold effect on the untouchables, the “inherently polluted” from birth! As much as it shocks the sentiments of the uninitiated, it educates the readers in a non-judgmental manner. One reader stated that the writing style is of an oral historian. He felt as if the author was reading the book to him.
Some readers have recommended the book as must read for those interested in South Asian studies, Comparative Religion, Sociology and Anthropology or just plain learning of Indian customs and traditions. All have found it entertaining. These comments have been encouraging and made me work harder to promote the novel as well as more determined to make my next book an even better and sharper read.
Each reader identified particular characters in the book they found to be endearing and memorable. One reader has personally been responsible for a dozen more copies sold. Now friends and relatives are buying copies and after reading calling me with their opinions. My sister wants the book to be recommended to Oprah’s Book Club another to be offered for selection as Heather’s Choice at Chapters in Canada. It is indeed a humbling and emotional experience for me. And now I get to go through it every day.
Will Karam’s Kismet become a best-seller nationally or internationally? Will I wake up one morning to read reviews in prominent newspapers and magazines of it being a fast read, a blockbuster, a sweeping saga or a tour de force!
I think it is some distance from being there. But I am up for the effort it will take and the patience that will be needed. As a work of general/literary fiction it is somewhat timeless. It captures a particular human condition in the time capsule from 1938 to 1982 A.D. I can only hope it sells in whatever number of copies my kismet dictates for decades to come.
That is my dream that I share with my readers. To those who have bought copies, read the book and recommended it to others, I remain eternally grateful.