Extended Families

Extended Families traces the history of both sides of Ven Begamudré's family, telling a story that is both timeless and universal.

Ven Begamudré

"My grandmother's house has two gates. The iron from which they were wrought long ago turned to irony." So begins the story of a South Indian family of high-caste Brahmins, men and women, who guarded a treasury, became electrical engineers, and built dams and power stations. Their stories, told through journal entries, poetry, fiction, and photographs, are filtered through the lens of Ven, first as a boy and then as a young adult and finally, a man.

At the heart of the work is the relationship between parent and child, Ven and his mother and father, as they continually fight and separate, first in India, and then, later, in Canada and the United States. The book culminates with the death of Ven's mother in India and the immersion of her ashes. Stories passed down from generation to generation are intertwined with those of the Hindu gods, beautifully illuminating the eternal bonds of family. (From Coteau Books


Ven Begamudre on mixing family stories, poetry, fiction and myth in his memoir "Extended Families," which is a finalist for a Saskatchewan Book Award. 1:43