Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna

Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna

Sarita Mandanna, a financial analyst by profession, believes that “each one of us has a story to tell; a book to write”. In the city on Saturday to launch her debut novel, Tiger Hills, Mandanna had an eager audience in the waiting. Many of them were fellow Coorgis and fans with a copy of the book in hand. They sat through the book reading and discussion session conducted by thespian and city-based restaurateur, Arjun Sajnani.

Describing the genesis of the book, Mandanna said: “I wanted to write a book with a panoramic lens, similar to Jane Austen and Wuthering Heights.” Penned across a period of five years, Mandanna wrote a 450-page novel in her spare time and confessed she didn’t have any story in mind and it crafted along the way.

Hailing from Coorg, Mandanna, daughter of an army officer, grew up stationed in many parts of the country. But every vacation took her back to her native town. Tiger Hills, set in the backdrop of Kodagu, is Mandanna’s “love letter to Coorg”.

The novel is positioned in late 19th-20th-century Coorg as Mandanna explored the time prevalent in Coorg then. “I have drawn bits and pieces from personal experiences and observation — something common to every creative process,” said Mandanna.

The book’s core theme is life’s reality. “Life doesn’t always go our way, but we owe it to ourselves to seek happiness,” she said, adding: “The strength within each of us is explored only when we are put through the trials and tribulations in life.”

A love saga, the novel is written from a woman’s perspective, “with the book’s central character being a woman, Devi”. The protagonist “is not always likable, and every character in the book has a tinge of grey like we all do”.

Mandanna describes her novel as being “bittersweet” as it has an underlying sense of doom. Nonetheless, “it has an ambivalent ending — left to the reader to conclude”.


3 Responses

  1. Inspite of some minor inconsistencies , the book has a certain poignancy. The first few pages are rather slow paced but the narrative picks up soon and takes you on a roller coaster.

    Although Machu and Devi are slightly similar to Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw, it is vulnerable Devanna who impresses the most. The reader can empathize with him and I hope Sarita continues her endeavours in creating lifelike characters. Truly appreciate Sarita’s efforts to carve a niche for the kodava community .

  2. KINDLY RESUME YOUR BIO – DATA & WRITTINGS of Novels TO E – Mail:DiscoveryofKodagu@gmail.com OR Mobile : 9880616643

  3. The novel left a despair in me that it did not attain the strength and gravity of a classic which meant that the reader in me loved the work
    very much and had a strong feeling that the creative labour behind it was definitely praiseworthy.

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