All the Lives We Never Lived
“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
Anuradha Roy should be on every literary Indophile's list. She's such a gorgeous writer of prose, her four novels capture small-town India with all its beauty and contradiction. -- Tishani Doshi, author of SMALL DAYS AND NIGHTS All the Lives We Never Lived is a moving and beautiful story of loss, of the lives of those beloved to us. What makes this novel so special is the sinuous way Anuradha Roy seamlessly and masterfully shuttles between time, overlaying the past with the present, mystery with knowledge to cumulatively create a brilliant tapestry that is the story -- Chigozie Obioma Taking in the second world war, the fight for Indian independence and occasionally fast-forwarding into the 1990s, All the Lives We Never Lived is ultimately both a work of beautifully realised history and personal narrative. The cover blurb tells us that Roy is 'one of India's greatest living authors'. On this evidence it's hard to disagree. -- David Patrikarakos * Spectator. * [Roy] writes intelligently and elegantly, whatever the subject matter, be it love, patriarchy or the sweltering landscape. -- Anthony Cummins * Sunday Sport. * 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 * Guardian * Anuradha Roy blends historical fact and remarkable real-life characters into her tale, which takes freedom, in all its messy complexity, as its theme . . . Amid the atmospheric detailing there are pin-sharp modern resonances with modern India's nationalism and punishing patriarchy. -- Siobhan Murphy * The Times. * Poetic, elegiac . . . Roy's eye is tender . . . The scope of All the Lives We Never Lived is vast but also personal. -- Sean Hewitt * Irish Times. * A beautifully written and compelling story of how families fall apart and of what remains in the aftermath . . . [by] . . . a writer of great subtlety and intelligence. -- Kamila Shamsie * Guardian. * The book everyone is talking about for the summer -- Lorraine Candy * Sunday Times * 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 * One of India's greatest living authors. * O, The Oprah Magazine. * Roy's writing is a joy. * Financial Times. * From Sleeping on Jupiter to this book, Roy seems to be bettering her own brilliance. Though the narration is effortless, Roy's research and imagination in recreating a bygone era shines out. This is an excellent, unputdownable book -- Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar * The Hindu *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?