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Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

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Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015.

This is a stark and unflinching novel by a spellbinding storyteller, about religion, love, and violence in the modern world. A dark tale of lost innocence and redemption by the author of An Atlas of Impossible Longing.


Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy

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.


'The themes of innocence stolen, the refuge of the imagination, and the inclination to look away are handled with sensitivity and subtlety in some of the best prose of recent years encountered by this reader. Roy brings a painterly eye, her choice of detail bringing scenes to sensual life, while eschewing floridness: a masterclass rather in the art of restraint, the pared-back style enabling violence close to the surface to glint of its own accord ... An important contribution to an essential debate, Anuradha Roy's poetic work of luminous prose deserves a wide readership in India and beyond' -- Rebecca K Morrison Independent

'There's been a recent call to action against sexual assault in India as rape cases have begun to make international headlines rather than just being accepted as part of everyday female experience in the country. In focusing on this perpetration of violence against women and children, Roy's book is both incredibly timely and extremely brave' -- Lucy Scholes The National

'Roy has used the most potent weapon in a writer's arsenal - the form of the novel, with its ability to simultaneously be universal and particular - to boldly unmask the hidden face of Indian spirituality and the rampant sexual abuse in its unholy confines' -- Meena Kandasamy Guardian

About the Author

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.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd April 2015


Anuradha Roy

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MacLehose Press an imprint of Quercus Publishing


256 pages


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