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'Next time in Jerusalem' -- uttered every Passover, these words kindle, within the small Jewish community of Kerala, a homesickness for their promised homeland. They must prepare to break all ties with the place they have known and loved for centuries -- all in response to the Zionist call.Salamon, the tongue-tied, day-dreaming firstborn of his family, must decide whether to set sail or stay back as the last Jew in Cochin -- the place where his ancestors had found sanctuary -- for it was here that their roots had struck, amongst those who accepted them as neighbours, classmates, teachers.In this story of cultural and religious identity, told through three generations of a Jewish family in Kerala and their complex interpersonal relationships, Sethu weaves together myth, history and fiction to create a compelling narrative about man's constant search for home and permanence.
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About the Author
A. Sethumadhavan (born 5 June 1942), popularly known as Sethu, is a Malayalam fiction writer. He has published more than thirty-five books. He received the Kerala Sahitya Akademi Award in 1978 and 1982 for Pandavapuram, a novel and Pediswapnangal, a collection of short stories. His novel Adayalangal won the Vayalar Award in 2005 and the Kendra Sahitya Akademi award in 2007. Marupiravi won the Odakkuzhal Award. Sethu's other literary works include Velutha Koodarangal, Thaliyola, Kiratham, Niyogam, Sethuvinte Kathakal and Kaimudrakal. Sethu has served as the chairman and CEO of the South Indian Bank. He was also the chairman of National Book Trust, Delhi. Catherine Thankamma is a retired associate professor in English. She worked in various colleges under the government of Kerala, including a brief stint in Jesus and Mary College, Delhi. She has a Ph.D in theatre studies from Jawaharlal Nehru University and has published short stories and articles. Her translation of Narayan's Kocharethi for Oxford University Press won the Crossword Book Award for 2011.