Fire Birdis a masterfully crafted tale of one man’s search for the elusive concept of permanence. Muthu has his world turned upside down when his father divides the family land, leaving him with practically nothing and causing irreparable damage to his family’s bonds. Through the unscrupulous actions of his once-revered eldest brother, Muthu is forced to leave his once-perfect world behind and seek out a new life for himself, his wife and his children.
In this transcendental novel, Perumal Murugan draws from his own life experiences of displacement and movement, and explores the fragility of our fundamental attraction to permanence and our ultimately futile efforts to attain it. Translated from the nearly untranslatableAalandapatchi, which alludes to a mystical bird in Tamil, the titular fire bird perfectly encapsulates the illusory and migratory nature of this pursuit.
Fire Birdis a thought-provoking and beautifully written exploration of the human desire for stability in an ever-changing world.