All the Lives We Never Lived
By Anuradha Roy
An artist's escape from a stultifying marriage is set against India's fight for independence and a world war, in a sweeping new novel by the Man Booker longlisted author of Sleeping on Jupiter
War, nationalism, and trees shape lives in unforeseeable ways in this novel about a family and a country struggling with enormous transformations.
"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 moving 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.
Anuradha Roy's novel Sleeping on Jupiter was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2016 and won the D.S.C. prize for South Asian Literature. She 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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- Publication date:
31 May 2018
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Every once in a great while, a novel comes along to remind you why you rummage through shelves in the first place. Why you peck like a magpie past the bright glitter of publishers' promises. Why you read...This, you think, is the feeling you had as you read Great Expectations or Sophie's Choice or The Kite Runner. This is why you read fiction at all. — Marie Arana, Washington Post, on An Atlas of Impossible Longing
Roy's writing is a joy. — Financial Times.
One of India's greatest living authors. — O, The Oprah Magazine.