Anuradha Roy won the Economist Crossword Prize, India's premier award for fiction, for her novel The Folded Earth, which was nominated for several other prizes including the Man Asia, the D.S.C., and the Hindu Literary Award. Her first novel, An Atlas of Impossible Longing, has been widely translated and was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and The Seattle Times.
Shifting between India and England, Anuradha Roy’s The Earthspinner is a mesmerising, musical, exquisitely-shaped novel that traverses continents and times, following the rise and fall of fortunes, the rise of religious extremism, and the calamitous costs of going against the grain. Infused with art and passion in all its forms, this is a story to savour. A tale that casts a cleverly concocted spell with long-lingering magic. Sara has left her family in India to study in England, where loneliness drives her to return to pottery, and to reflect on moments and figures from her childhood, including Chinna, the dog that united her community, and Elango, her former pottery teacher, a Hindu who faced extreme prejudice after falling in love with a Muslim woman. Through Elango’s diary entries we see how he’s driven to create a mythical terracotta horse that bolted into his dream, his relationship with Chinna, and how extremism came to rise in a rural village, sparking violence and pain. Parallel to this, though ten years later, Sara is navigating the challenges of finding a new place in the world.
'A horse was in flames. It roamed beneath the ocean breathing fire . . . ' When he wakes up, Elango knows his life has changed. His dream will consume him until he gives it shape. The potter must create a terracotta horse whose beauty will be reason enough for its existence. Yet he cannot pin down from where it has galloped into his mind - the Mahabharata, or Trojan legend, or his anonymous potter-ancestors. Nor can he say where it belongs - in a temple compound, within a hotel lobby, or with Zohra, whom he despairs of ever marrying. The astral, indefinable force driving Elango towards forbidden love and creation has unleashed other currents. A neighbourhood girl begins her bewildering journey into adulthood, developing a complicated relationship with him. A lost dog adopts him, taking over his heart. Meanwhile, his community is driven by inflammatory passions of a different kind. Here, people, animals, and even the gods live on a knife's edge and the consequences of daring to dream against the tide are cataclysmic. Moving between India and England, The Earthspinner reflects the many ways in which the East encounters the West. It breathes new life into ancient myths, giving allegorical shape to the war of fanaticism against reason and the imagination. It is an intricate, wrenching novel about the changed ways of loving and living in the modern world.
LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2015 AND WINNER OF THE 2016 DSC PRIZE FOR SOUTH ASIAN LITERATURE A stark and unflinching novel by a spellbinding storyteller, about religion, love and violence in the modern world. A train stops at a railway station. A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Over the next five days, the old women live out their long-planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love; and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons. The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear, as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark past that transforms all who encounter it.
Kolkata In Space, Time and Imagination, Volume II by Anuradha Roy
Kolkata in Space, Time, and Imagination Vol 1 by Anuradha Roy
A writer of great subtlety and intelligence . . . a beautifully written and compelling story of how families fall apart and what remains of the aftermath Kamila Shamsie, winner of the Women's Prize for Fiction 2018 The book everyone is talking about for the summer Lorraine Candy, Sunday Times In my childhood, I was known as the boy whose mother had run off with an Englishman - so begins the story of Myshkin and his mother, Gayatri, who is driven to rebel against tradition and follow her artist's instinct for freedom. Freedom of a different kind is in the air across India. The fight against British rule is reaching a critical turn. The Nazis have come to power in Germany. At this point of crisis, two strangers arrive in Gayatri's town, opening up for her the vision of other possible lives. What took Myshkin's mother from India to Dutch-held Bali in the 1930s, ripping a knife through his comfortingly familiar environment? Excavating the roots of the world in which he was abandoned, Myshkin comes to understand the connections between anguish at home and a war-torn universe overtaken by patriotism. Anuradha Roy's enthralling novel is a powerful parable for our times, telling the story of men and women trapped in a dangerous era uncannily similar to the present. Impassioned, elegiac, and gripping, it brims with the same genius that has brought Roy's earlier fiction international renown. One of India's greatest living authors - O, The Oprah Magazine Roy's writing is a joy - Financial Times
A train stops at a railway station.A young woman jumps off. She has wild hair, sloppy clothes, a distracted air. She looks Indian, yet she is somehow not. The sudden violence of what happens next leaves the other passengers gasping. The train terminates at Jarmuli, a temple town by the sea. Here, among pilgrims, priests and ashrams, three old women disembark only to encounter the girl once again. What is someone like her doing in this remote corner, which attracts only worshippers? Over the next five days, the old women live out their long-planned dream of a holiday together; their temple guide finds ecstasy in forbidden love; and the girl is joined by a photographer battling his own demons. The full force of the evil and violence beneath the serene surface of the town becomes evident when their lives overlap and collide. Unexpected connections are revealed between devotion and violence, friendship and fear, as Jarmuli is revealed as a place with a long, dark past that transforms all who encounter it.
In a remote town in the Himalaya, Maya tries to put behind her a time of great sorrow. By day she teaches in a school and at night she types up drafts of a magnum opus by her landlord, a relic of princely India known to all as Diwan Sahib. Her bond with this eccentric, and her friendship with a peasant girl, Charu, give her the sense that she might be able to forge a new existence away from the devastation of her past. As Maya finds out, no place is remote enough or small enough. The world she has come to love, where people are connected with nature, is endangered by the town's new administration. The impending elections are hijacked by powerful outsiders who divide people and threaten the future of her school. Charu begins to behave strangely, and soon Maya understands that a new boy in the neighbourhood may be responsible. When Diwan Sahib's nephew arrives to set up his trekking company on their estate, she is drawn to him despite herself, and finally she is forced to confront bitter and terrible truths. A many-layered and powerful narrative, by turns poetic, elegiac and comic, by the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing.
Beginning in 1907 with the founding of a factory in Songarh, a small provincial town where narrow attitudes prevail, the story is of three generations of an Indian family, brilliantly told, in which a sensitive and intelligent foundling boy orphan who is casteless and without religion and Bakul, the motherless granddaughter of the house, grow up together. The boy, Mukunda, spends his time as a servant in the house or reading the books of Mrs Barnum, an Anglo-Englishwoman whose life was saved long ago by Bakul's grandmother, by now demented by loneliness. Mrs Barnum gives Mukunda the run of her house, but as he and Bakul grow, they become aware that their intense closeness is becoming something else, and Bakul's father is warned to separate them. He banishes Mukunda to a school in Calcutta. The many strands of this intensely fashioned narrative converge when Mukunda, by now a successful businessman, returns to Songarh years after he has been exiled from the only home he knew, to resolve the family's destiny.
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