In June 2001, the king of Nepal and almost his entire family were massacred. Unrest, simmering over the previous decade, boiled over and pushed the nation into free fall. In 2005, the dead kings brother reinstated monarchy, crushing any hope that parliamentary democracy would flourish in Nepal. A period fraught with uncertainty and intense turmoil ensued: the Maoists waged a bloody Peoples War; the monarchy mounted a bloodier counter-insurgency effort; political parties bickered and fought endlessly; and the citizens bore the brunt of it all.
Wide-ranging in scope the book spans the beginning of the monarchy, through the early democratic movements, to the present Forget Kathmandu is many things: history, memoir, reportage, travelogue, analysis. But, above all, it is an unflinching, clear-sighted attempt to make sense of the bad politics that plagued and continues to plague the country. It remains as worryingly relevant to present-day Nepal as it was when first published in 2005.
About the Author
Manjushree Thapa is one of South Asias best-known writers. She has written two novels, Seasons of Flight and The Tutor of History; a collection of short stories, Tilled Earth; and three books of non-fiction, The Lives We Have Lost: Essays and Opinions on Nepal, A Boy from Siklis: The Life and Times of Chandra Gurung and Mustang Bhot in Fragments. Manjushree Thapa divides her time between Kathmandu and Toronto.