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A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

A controversial debut for it portrays a young middle-class university student, Idha, destined to follow family traditions, leading a double life. Her aunt (her mother died three year before) is introducing her to various ‘suitable’ young men as the path to an arranged marriage is negotiated. She is having an affair with a ‘bad’ boy, is seduced by his lies and lured into his corrupt world. We meet her ten years after his death and her trauma which sent her askew. The novel throws up clashes of culture, class, gender and aspirations, behind a tale of an India not often written of.

If you like Deepti Kapoor you might also like to read books by Chetan Bhagat and Vikas Swarup.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


A Bad Character by Deepti Kapoor

My boyfriend died when I was twenty-one. His body was left lying broken in the highway out of Delhi while the sun rose in the desert to the east. I wasn't there, I never saw it. But plenty of others saw, in the trucks that passed by without stopping, and from the roadside dhaba where he'd been drinking all night. Then they wrote about him in the paper. Twelve lines buried in the middle pages, one line standing out, the last one, in which a cop he'd never met said to the reporter, He was known to us, he was a bad character. This is the story of Idha, a young woman who finds escape from the arranged marriage and security that her middle-class world has to offer through a chance encounter with a charismatic, dangerous young man. She is quickly exposed to the thrilling, often illicit pleasures that both the city, Delhi, and her body can hold. But as the affair continues, and her double life deepens, her lover's increasingly unstable behaviour carries them past the point of no return, where grief, love and violence threaten to transform his madness into her own. A novel about female desire, A Bad Character shows us a Delhi we have not seen in fiction before: a city awash with violence, rage and corruption.

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'The literary fiction debut of the year... the coming of age story of a 21-year-old girl from Delhi, laced with poetry, confusion, sex and drugs. A fan of Marguerite Duras'
The Lover

'Get this book' - Vogue India

About the Author

Deepti Kapoor was born in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, and grew up in Bombay, Bahrain and Dehradun. In 1997 she went to the University of Delhi to study journalism and later completely an MA in Social Psychology. She spent the next decade working for various publications, driving around the city, finding stories and learning its streets. She now lives in Goa.

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Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Deepti Kapoor

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