Publication Date: 16/11/2021 ISBN: 9781913505165 Category:

Somebody Loves You

Mona Arshi

Publisher: And Other Stories
Publication Date: 16/11/2021 ISBN: 9781913505165 Category:
Paperback / Softback




Shortlisted for the 2022 Goldsmiths Prize
Shortlisted for the 2022 Jhalak Prize
Longlisted for the 2022 Republic of Consciousness Prize
Longlisted for the 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize

A teacher asked me a question, and I opened my mouth as a sort of formality but closed it softly, knowing with perfect certainty that nothing would ever come out again.

Ruby gives up talking at a young age. Her mother isn’t always there to notice; she comes and goes and goes and comes, until, one day, she doesn’t. Silence becomes Ruby’s refuge, sheltering her from the weather of her mother’s mental illness and a pressurized suburban atmosphere.

Plangent, deft, and sparkling with wry humour, Somebody Loves You is a moving exploration of how we choose or refuse to tell the stories that shape us.

Publisher Review

'A sharply drawn world of wonder in elegant and lean prose. A fresh, innovative novel that is an ode to families, coming of age and sisterhood.' Roger Robinson ----'Mona Arshi uses the shape and heft of prose poetry to extend the novel into unexpected new terrain. Tender, funny, and exhilarating.' Jeet Thayil ----'Somebody Loves You is alive with rare subtlety and tensile strength, and infused with the kind of beauty that brings every quiet moment into sharp relief.' Preti Taneja----'A truly enriching read, Somebody Loves You is a glorious debut novel. I took this book with me everywhere and kept returning to it. I loved every perfect choice of word and turn of phrase in this vivid and tender, poetic and beautiful book.' Salena Godden----'Mona Arshi writes with curiosity, gentleness, and a keen eye for how even the smallest details of daily life can carry meaning. In form and content, this is a gleaming, quiet novel cut through with remarkable confidence. Reading Somebody Loves You was like being rocked gently - and then shaken entirely awake.' Jessica J Lee----'Something flows through this book at the deepest level: experiences of love, care, memory and intimacy. Written with the poetic capacity to articulate the unsaid and the unknown; an extraordinary novel of the day, the night, the garden and life.' Bhanu Kapil----'Each sentence has the cadence of poetry, each phrase perfectly chosen, each word correctly weighed. This is a novel which reminds us memory and narrative are often not complete but rather are crystallised glimpses, which turn like a kaleidoscope through our mind.' Andrew McMillan----'A masterful, subtle and heartbreaking novel - I loved it.' Jo Heygate, Pages of Hackney----'A beautiful gem of a story, which explores the vicissitudes of youth with an understated elegance, wit and insight.' Fiona Kennedy, The Pitshanger Bookshop----'Mona Arshi's talent lies in the perfect balance between the harshness of the story and the bewitching atmosphere of her prose. Beautifully devastating.' Giulia Lenti, Foyles Waterloo----'An astutely observant portrait of the world from a girl who doesn't speak, Somebody Loves You is a novel built by the power of memories, nostalgia, and sisterhood. Arshi expresses the gravity of mental health in wonderfully written poetic prose which is absolutely captivating from start to finish. She transforms fleeting childhood moments into the unforgettable.' Lauren Steele, Waterstones Crouch End----'Like the proverbs Ruby carefully keeps in her notebook, Arshi's chapters have a pearly, iridescent quality - tender, lyrical, with a quiet humour and a dark sting in the tail. You want to turn each sentence over in your hand in case it looks different from another angle. Properly sublime writing.' Ben Pope, Review Bookshop----'I jumped into Somebody Loves You with little to no idea of what to expect, and found myself unable to put it down. The voice of Ruby - sister, daughter of immigrants, brown, observant, mute - is powerfully crafted. A great read for lovers of poetry and prose alike.' Mariana Calderon, Savoy Bookshop & Cafe----'Somebody Loves You is elegant and elusive, and also completely brilliant. Each of its precise little vignettes holds an act of micro-resistance against the banality and violence of the world.' Tom Robinson, Gloucester Road Books----'An ambitious and richly imagined debut. Quite unlike anything I've ever read.' Callum McAllister, Storysmith

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