Literature Study GuidesThe Inheritance Of Loss

The Inheritance of Loss | Study Guide

Kiran Desai

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Course Hero. "The Inheritance of Loss Study Guide." Course Hero. 24 June 2019. Web. 6 July 2020. <>.

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Course Hero. "The Inheritance of Loss Study Guide." June 24, 2019. Accessed July 6, 2020.


Course Hero, "The Inheritance of Loss Study Guide," June 24, 2019, accessed July 6, 2020,



Kiran Desai

Year Published






Perspective and Narrator

The story is told by a third-person narrator, shifting periodically between the perspectives of the two main characters, Sai and Biju.


The novel is written in the past tense.

About the Title

The title presents a paradox, because an "inheritance" usually involves a gain or an asset rather than a loss. Kiran Desai wants to provoke the reader's reflections on how such a gain or an asset could really turn out to be a loss or how two apparent opposites—gain and loss—might coexist. The title also suggests that the characters featured in the novel inherit the loss of the Indian national identity to British imperialism.


This study guide for Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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