Plot[ edit ] The story revolves around the trials and tribulations of a young Polish priest, Father Stephean Kovalski, the hardships endured by a rickshaw puller, Hasari Pal in Calcutta KolkataIndia and in the second half of the book, also the experiences of a young American doctor, Max Loeb. Father Stephan joins a religious order whose vows put them in the most hellish places on earth. He chooses not only to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta but also to live with them, starve with them, and if God wills it, die with them.
Plot[ edit ] The story revolves around the trials and tribulations of a young Polish priest, Father Stephean Kovalski, the hardships endured by a rickshaw puller, Hasari Pal in Calcutta KolkataIndia and in the second half of the book, also the experiences of a young American doctor, Max Loeb.
Father Stephan joins a religious order whose vows put them in the most hellish places on earth. He chooses not only to serve the poorest of the poor in Calcutta but also to live with them, starve with them, and if God wills it, die with them. In the journey of Kovalski's acceptance as the Big Brother for the slum dwellers, he encounters moments of everyday miracles in the midst of appalling poverty and ignorance.
The slum dwellers are ignored and exploited by wider society and the authorities of power but are not without their own prejudices.
This becomes evident by their attitude towards the lepers and the continuation of the caste system. The story also explores how a peasant farmer Hasari Pal arrives in Calcutta with his family after a drought wipes out the farming village where his family has lived for generations.
The third main character is that of a rich American doctor who has just finished med school and wants to do something with purpose before opening up his practice catering to the wealthy.
The book chronicles not only the separation of the wealthy from the poor but the separation of the different levels of poverty, caste divisions, and the differences of the many religions living side by side in the slums.
It touches on Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity as well. While the book has its ups and downs, both beautiful and horrific, an overall feeling of peace and well being is achieved by the story's end.
Despite facing hunger, deplorable living conditions, illness, bone breaking work or no work at all and death, the people still hold on to the belief that life is precious and worth living, so much so that they named their slum "Anand Nagar", which translated into English means "City of Joy".
The author has stated that the stories of the characters in the book are true and he uses many of the real names in his book. However, the book is considered fictional since many conversations and actions are assumed or created.
The author and his wife traveled to India many times, sometimes staying with friends in the "City of Joy". Half of the royalties from the sale of the book goes towards the City of Joy Foundation  that looks after slum children in Calcutta.
Awards[ edit ] The book received Christopher Award  ingiven for creative work that exhibits the highest values of the human spirit. Inspiration from Real Life[ edit ] The book is set in the slum of Anand Nagar which is based on the area of Pilkhana in Howrahand the life of Fr Stephan Kovalski, who, like Gaston Dayanand,  a Swiss national, a male nurse  by profession, who moved to India in and has devoted his life in improving the welfare of slum dwellers.
The book also refers to Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity.Lapierre demonstrates how social Darwinism rules the life of Hansari Pal. Pal realizes that his struggle to provide for his family involves both luck and survival of the fittest.
City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre A book about the strength of human spirit and of love and compassion. Set in the slums of Calcutta about life amidst extreme poverty.
City of Joy (), a film by Roland Joffé -Theiapolis Starring Patrick Swayze, Om Puri, Pauline Collins, Shabana Azmi, Ayesha Dharker and Santu Chowdhury, «City of Joy» (also known as "Stadt der Freude", "Città della gioia, La", "Cité de la joie, La") is a Comedy/Drama film directed by Roland Joffé, and written by Dominique LaPierre and.
Dominique Lapierre is an unbelievable fascinating person with an unbridled passion Read more `The City of Joy’, `Five past midnight in Bhopal’, `Freely on the Sovjet Roads?'. New York, NY, U.S.A.: Warner Books, Incorporated, Twelfth Printing. Mass Market Paperback.
Good - MOVIE EDITION. Brief summary of content available upon request by e-mail. MOVIE EDITION with a front and back cover photo of Patrick Swayze. Dominique Lapierre Booklist Dominique Lapierre Message Board Detailed plot synopsis reviews of City of Joy The book shows the life of its main character, a Polish priest who settles down in the slums of Calcutta to help its people and serve the society.