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Geeta Rahman at Championship Point

 | Book Awards 2022 | English Fiction

Geeta Rahman at Championship Point

Author: Saskya Jain
Publisher: 

Award Category: English Fiction
About the Book: 

A young girl's fight to live her dream in a country trying to break free from its past.

It's 1993 in New Delhi, the Babri Masjid demolition has just happened, and India is on the verge of opening its economy to the world. Growing up in this new, fast-changing India, Geeta is caught between her great wish — to become India's biggest badminton star — and the grief she is experiencing along with her father. Geeta Rahman at Championship Point is the story of twelve-year-old Geeta Rahman, a badminton prodigy on one hand and an aspiring servant of the Government of India on the other, she is also trying to come to terms with the recent death of her mother.

In this moving and distinctively original novel, Saskya Jain brilliantly weaves the personal and the political — as Geeta’s life within her tightly-knit community unfolds, the story of a liberalized India desperate to channel its newfound ambitions to finally silence the ghosts of Partition also comes to the fore. The answer to whether or not Geeta succeeds, and at what price, is tied to this constantly changing landscape. By using the game of badminton as a metaphor, Jain’s inventive prose establishes a strong sense of place and meticulously explores the sense of a young girl’s unique mindset, presenting us with an unforgettable narrator learning to find her place under the sun.


About the Author: 

Saskya Jain grew up in New Delhi. Her first novel, Fire Under Ash, was shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt Prize in 2015. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous journals in the UK, US, India and Germany. She has taught creative writing and literature at Hong Kong University and Grinnell College. She is based in New Delhi and Berlin.


Excerpt: 

That one, I say and point at the red Jonex ISOMETRIC badminton racket inside the glass cabinet.
The parent cadre, also known as Abba, continues to knead the seam of his purple khadi kurta.
You already have a racket.
Usually, when the parent cadre states a fact, it is not permissible to answer back. But today, February 1, 1993, I, Geeta Das Rahman, have special answer back rights.
My racket is so old, Abba. It negatively impacts my hand when I play. And sometimes the whole shuttle gets stuck in the stringing and I lose a point pointlessly!


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