The Foreigner is a story of a young man who is detached, almost alienated — a man who sees himself as a stranger wherever he lives or goes — in Kenya, where he is born, in England and USA where he is a student and in India where he finally settles down. His detachment transcends barriers of geography, nationality and culture. It propels him from one crisis to another, sucking in the wake several other people, including June, an attractive American with whom he has a short lived but passionate affair.
The transitoriness associated with the word 'foreigner' permeates the novel and is handled with remarkable maturity reminding the reader of epoch-making The Outsider by Albert Camus. The protagonist's anguish at the meaninglessness of the human condition and the eventual release from the anxieties of life through karmayoga, the principle of action without attachment, add to the aesthetics of the work.
'(The Foreigner) is not only a novel with a fine artistic vision rendering the subtle complexities of attitudes and the emotions in a language which has verve, ease and suppleness, ... (but) marks a definite improvement over all other novels in English on the East-West muddle.' — The Journal of Indian Writing in English
Author: Arun Joshi