Latitudes of Longing
** The phenomenal Indian bestseller **
**Winner of the Tata Lit Live Best First Book of the Year Award **
‘Intense, lyrical, and powerful. This is a remarkable debut’ Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis and The Book of Chocolate Saints
‘Latitudes of Longing is a book to be savoured’ The Hindu
‘Bold and imaginative’ India Today
A prizewinning literary epic of the subcontinent, for readers of Yaa Gyasi’s HOMEGOING and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s HALF OF A YELLOW SUN
In the feverish tropics of the Andaman Islands, a young botanist tends to a fragile rose he has imported to welcome his bride. Hoping their marriage will bloom in this strange life, hundreds of miles from the east coast of India, he is entranced by Chanda Devi’s fierce nature and unusual gifts; speaking to trees and the ghosts of former colonialists. These islands, she tells her adoring husband, rest on a faultline, cracked so deep into the earth that spirits cross the boundary freely. But it is not this fracture that takes a tragic bite out of their happiness.
With the family riven by heartbreak, their maid takes the chance to resolve her own past mistakes. Having abandoned her son many years before, she now traces him to Myanmar, only to find him in prison – the enemy of a brutal regime. The faultline she followed over the Indian Ocean now cuts north into Nepal, where the prisoner’s ally, an itinerant drug dealer, tries to rescue a young woman from the dancing bars of Kathmandu. It shadows his footsteps into the Karakoram mountains, where a scientist looks deep into the abyss between India and Pakistan. It rises all the way to the snow deserts, beyond the reach of nation or war, where an elder of the village waits for the return of his true love, bringing all their journeys full circle.
A breathtaking epic, Latitudes of Longing possesses the reader with a blazing sense of wonder. Shubhangi Swarup’s vision goes deeper than the human stories of the subcontinent to reveal the conscious history of the earth itself. Tender in every detail, touched with humour and profound humanity, this is a novel brimming with life, an original masterpiece.
Intense, lyrical, and powerful. This is a remarkable debut * Jeet Thayil, author of Narcopolis and The Book of Chocolate Saints * The insistent pulse of the earth beats through the human interactions in this exquisite novel. Her voice is original, and her work shows the measured pace of dance. Latitudes of Longing is a book to be savoured * The Hindu * Shubhangi Swarup's debut fiction novel should be your next read. It's a journey through the physical and the metaphysical * Elle India * If one of the roles of fiction is to reframe our view of the world, this is an uncommonly bold and imaginative attempt * India Today * Astonishing and completely original, Shubhangi Swarup's magical novel will change the way you see people-and landscapes, forests, the oceans, snow deserts. She stirs your curiosity about the earth, takes you from sadness and heartbreak to rich, unexpected surprises, and finds hope in the cracks of broken lives [Swarup's] debut novel will certainly be one of the most wondrous literary achievements to hit the shelves this year. A multigenerational epic intertwined with spellbinding myths, Swarup's is a many-layered narrative...Extraordinarily affecting. * Library Journal * Swarup's lyrical debut exalts in the majesty of the South Asian subcontinent.... Generous doses of magical realism mixed in with regional folklore add to the atmospheric charm * Booklist * A thoughtful, philosophical book...Their stories unfold movingly in four sections, each with only a loose connection to the last. A unique and rewarding read * Grimsby Telegraph * Beautifully written in lush, lyrical prose * Irish Times * An exuberantly flowing novel... a promising debut * Mail on Sunday *
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