The Zigzag Way

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 1, 2006 - Fiction - 159 pages
0 Reviews
In The Zigzag Way, the critically acclaimed novelist Anita Desai offers a gorgeously nuanced story of expatriates and travelers adrift in an unfamiliar land. Eric, a young American historian, has come to Mexico on his first trip abroad. His search for his immigrant family’s roots brings him to a town in the Sierrra Madre, where a hundred years earlier Cornish miners toiled without relief. Here the suspiciously enigmatic Dona Vera, the fierce Austrian widow of a mining baron, has become a local legend, but her reputation for philanthropy glosses over a darker history. A haunting, powerful novel that culminates on the Day of the Dead, The Zigzag Way examines the subtle interplay between past and present.

Anita Desai is the author of many acclaimed works of fiction, including Baumgartner’s Bombay, Clear Light of Day, Diamond Dust, and Fasting, Feasting, among other works. Three of her novels have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. A professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she now lives in New York.

What people are saying - Write a review

The zigzag way

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Eric is on a quest--for a future and for clues to his Maine family's past. When he doesn't express interest in fishing--his ancestral livelihood--his mother sends him off to boarding school. Later at ... Read full review

Selected pages


Eric Arrives
Vera Stays
Betty Departs
La Noche de los Muertos

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

ANITA DESAI is the author of Fasting, Feasting, Baumgartner's Bombay, Clear Light of Day, and Diamond Dust, among other works. Three of her books have been shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Desai was born and educated in India and now lives in the New York City area.

Bibliographic information