Benares begins with a couple of Mauritian friends going up to the capital, Port-Louis, to spend the money one of them has won at a poker game. Having found two prostitutes, they all head back to Benares, the tiny village where they live in the far sough of the island. As their taxi slowly pushes on through the night the passengers swap stories to reassure and get to know one another. Out of the simplest of journeys, Barlen Pyamootoo has constructed a beautiful, immediate tale of remote lives, vividly evoking his birthplace and portraying, with subtle humour and pathos, the universal need to connect and share a sense of one's place in the world. The result is an ambiguous, touching and troubling debut novel by a writer with exceptional talent.
Barlen Pyamootoo—Bénarès ; And, In Babylon