One for the Road (01/02/06)

Occasionally we choose a
fiction book that takes place in an actual location for our Book of the Day feature. Today’s selection, Palpasa Cafe by Narayan Wagle, is, according to this Nepali Times article, "…a fictionalised account of
some actual events, the lives and deaths of ordinary Nepalis caught in the vice of war." Nepali Times editor Kunda
Dixit also calls the book "…a fiction more real than facts." The award-winning novel was released in early
2005 and a record 5,000 copy sell-out prompted a second edition printing in July. The 245-page book is a debut novel
from journalist Wagle, who actually makes a cameo in the first chapter as himself, as editor of a paper in Kathmandu
who hears of the abduction of a friend by soldiers. The book is receiving worldwide attention for its depiction of
Nepal’s present situation and the contemporary issues facing the country and its people. I learned about it while
reading United We Blog for a Democratic Nepal, a great resource for political news from the country. The book was
listed as one of the blog’s best events & people out of Nepal in 2005.
You can also read the worst events & people list and purchase the book
through PayPal at the United We Blog website. It was published by
nepa-laya, and unfortunately is only available
in Nepali at this time. I’ll keep an eye out for news on when an English translation may be available. Travelers who
are drawn to the beauty of Nepal may want to have an opportunity to read this story about the hardships and struggles
of this Himalayan nation.