Pyre by Perumal Murugan
From Grove Press, Black Cat:
Profiled in both the New Yorker and the New York Times, Perumal Murugan is one of India’s highest selling and most respected literary writers, and Pyre is perhaps his most beloved work. Saroja and Kumaresan are young and in love. After meeting in a small southern Indian town where Kumaresan works at a soda bottling shop, they quickly marry before returning to Kumaresan’s family village, where they hope to build a happy life together. But they are harboring a terrible secret: Saroja is from a different caste than Kumaresan, and if the villagers find out, they will both be in grave danger. Faced with venom from her mother-in-law and questions from her new neighbors, Saroja tries to adjust to a new lonely and uncomfortable life, while Kumaresan struggles to scrape together enough money for them to start over somewhere new. Will their love keep them safe in a world filled with thorns? In evocative prose, Perumal Murugan masterfully conjures a moving tale of innocent young love pitted against chilling violence.